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Category Archives: medical errors

Recommending: Consumer Reports on hospital infections

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Constant readers, the magazine Consumer Reports has done an extended, state-by-state analysis of which hospitals do well, or very badly, in preventing one important category of infections: central line-associated bloodstream infections, or CLABSIs (pronounced klab-sees). It’s a comprehensive package in easily understandable language. It’s based on the state reporting data that some activists have managed […]

Bad news from California: MRSA quadrupled

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Via the Fresno Business Journal and the Torrance Daily Breeze come reports of a new study by California’s Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development: Known MRSA cases in the state’s hospitals increased four-fold between 1999 and 2007, from 13,000 to 52,000 cases per year. From the Torrance paper: The good news is that the […]

My guest-post elsewhere: Bad news on hospital error rates

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It’s been 10 years since the publication of the pathbreaking Institute of Medicine report, “To Err is Human,” which for the first time focused policy attention on medical errors. The Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative has been running a two-week special series of posts to mark the occasion, and they very kindly asked me to […]

One more set of recommendations

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… and then next week I’ll be back to analyzing the medical literature: A stack of interesting new journal articles is threatening to topple and bury my computer. For the moment, though: First, the Hearst newspapers chain has conducted a nationwide investigation into medical errors that should be required reading for anyone who wonders why […]

Infections rise, but hospital budgets – and infection control – shrink

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Bad news from the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC): In a survey of almost 2,000 of their 12,000 members, 41% say that their hospitals’ infection-prevention budgets have been cut due to the down economy. According to the survey, conducted March 2009 and released Tuesday morning: Three-quarters of those whose budgets were […]

10 years but little progress on patient safety

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Constant readers, I’ve been away for a week — trying to get my breath back now that the chaos of the novel H1N1/swine flu is diminishing — and so I’ve missed a lot of news. Over this week, I’ll try to catch you up on it. First up: Some of you know that, 10 years […]

How hospitals are like cockpits

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We’ve talked a couple of times about the growing push for checklists in surgery and elsewhere in hospitals, promoted by Hopkins professor and MacArthur “genius” grant-winner Dr. Peter Provonost and modeled on the use of checklists in aviation. (This stuff interests me not just because it offers so much promise for MRSA reduction but because, […]

An inside look at combating HAIs

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I’ve been moving my RSS feeds over to a new reader and so am behind in reading things. That’s my lame excuse for not noticing an excellent story in the Washington Post Tuesday, a first-person account tracing the “conversion” of one skeptical physician to the cause of reducing hospital infections. The story was highlighted at […]

HAI money in the stimulus bill

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Constant readers, for those of you who are following the back-and-forth over the economic stimulus bill, I wanted to let you know that the Association of Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) is saying that the compromise may cut money for state programs to reduce hospital-associated infections. Here is APIC’s alert: ACT NOW TO PRESERVE HAI […]

US Air 1549 and the relevance of checklists

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Constant readers, when we discussed the importance of surgical checklists last week, I mentioned parenthetically that I am a licensed pilot. (For av geeks: single engine, taildragger, VFR. And, just to complete the geekery, married to an avionics engineer.) So I’ve been particularly fascinated by the story and back-story of US Air flight 1549, which […]