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How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us
WSJ ^ | 9-22-12 | MARTY MAKARY

Posted on 09/24/2012 6:00:51 AM PDT by TurboZamboni

When there is a plane crash in the U.S., even a minor one, it makes headlines. There is a thorough federal investigation, and the tragedy often yields important lessons for the aviation industry. Pilots and airlines thus learn how to do their jobs more safely.

The world of American medicine is far deadlier: Medical mistakes kill enough people each week to fill four jumbo jets. But these mistakes go largely unnoticed by the world at large, and the medical community rarely learns from them. The same preventable mistakes are made over and over again, and patients are left in the dark about which hospitals have significantly better (or worse) safety records than their peers.

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: errors; healthcare; hospitalmistakes; hospitals; medicalmistakes; mistakes; obamacares; safety; transparency
Transparency could help restore trust, but there's not much of that going around.
1 posted on 09/24/2012 6:00:56 AM PDT by TurboZamboni
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To: TurboZamboni

you know, doctors put their pants on one leg at a time. But the patients want a perfect result.


2 posted on 09/24/2012 6:02:24 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

This is NOT about falling short on perfection!

This is about a system where nobody double checks ANYTHING!

As they assume somebody else checked.

I’m 6-1, 180, and workout with 200 lb. benchpress, and yet nearly died twice in hospitals in the last 5 years.

Once from staph infection and the other from a poor post colonoscopy cauterization, nearly bleeding to death.


3 posted on 09/24/2012 6:09:37 AM PDT by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
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To: TurboZamboni

A hospital killed my mother-in-law on April 2, 2012. They gave her the wrong type blood transfusion.

Sloppy work, horrible outcome.


4 posted on 09/24/2012 6:12:27 AM PDT by colorcountry (The gospel will transform our politics, not vice versa (Romans 12:1,2))
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To: G Larry

well that is because you drank the KoolAid of needing the latest medical test, a colonoscopy— which is a sick sick sick “procedure”

a few years ago the “procedure” that was popular was fixing everybody’s deviated septums. it’s a money maker, silly, little more

there will be a new popular must have test shortly that everybody needs to get too


5 posted on 09/24/2012 6:13:15 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: TurboZamboni

My wife will NOT allow a family member to be left alone in a Hospital. We just don’t trust them.


6 posted on 09/24/2012 6:13:41 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: TurboZamboni
But, but ... thanks to Obamacare, medical records are now all neat and tidy! (They may convey minimal information to anyone except for the billing department, but they're neat and nicely printed!)

As I've been saying for the last 30 years, "Don't get sick!"

The incentives in health care are all in the wrong places, and they have been since Congress passed Medicare legislation in 1965.

7 posted on 09/24/2012 6:19:03 AM PDT by Sooth2222 ("Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of congress. But I repeat myself." M.Twain)
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To: TurboZamboni

I have absolutely no more trust in any part of the medical system, every single time I have had to experience going to a doctor I came out on the short end of the deal, from when all my upper teeth had to be removed and they gave me an upper plate I wore only twice it was so uncomfortable and I paid $5,000 for to when I had to get my CDL medical card they tacked on another hundred for non specific tests, so now for this last year I have been driving without a medical card, yes I am breaking a law and taking a chance, but man I feel so good at being a rebel!

Bottom line is this, I just refuse to give any money out for any healthcare, if I get sick I’ll take my chances.

We don’t live forever. We are not supposed to.


8 posted on 09/24/2012 6:20:04 AM PDT by Eye of Unk (OPSEC)
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To: TurboZamboni

The real killer is infection. Staying in the hospital will kill you. It might be 6 months later when the infection finally kills but the hospital stay was the source.

Beware of catheters....... they are more deadly than guns


9 posted on 09/24/2012 6:22:16 AM PDT by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... Present failure and impending death yield irrational action))
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To: TurboZamboni

transparency will never happen..Hospitals hire too many substandard people


10 posted on 09/24/2012 6:22:40 AM PDT by dalebert
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To: TurboZamboni

I had a friend who went to the hospital for right knee replacement surgery. Just before he went to surgery, he had his wife take a Sharpie and write on his “left” knee, “Wrong knee Doc”. And she wrote on his belly, “right knee replacement, not a vasectomy”. The doc said after the surgery that he got a good laugh out of it and said he might make this part of his routine prep.


11 posted on 09/24/2012 6:24:57 AM PDT by ImNotLying (Politicians and diapers should be changed often and for the same reason!)
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To: yldstrk
But the patients want a perfect result.

Are you sure it's always the patient who wants the perfect result? When I was hospitalized for a heart condition, the doctors and the institution ran up a $30,000 bill of work that an insurance lawyer I consulted later analyzed were not required. When I met with the hospital administrator and the primary doctor about the report, they said that they had to do those tests because of malpractice lawsuits families brought when they didn't do ETKTM -- every test known to man.

My father died of a hospital-borne infection. My mother had been a candy-striper at that hospital for years, and knew that the cross-infection rate was low. Our decision not to go after the doctors and hospital were met with skeptical disbelief on their part, so they were not willing to discuss what happened candidly. So the fear of the lawyers and juries affected the doctor/family relationship. Investigation into the root cause? Crickets. I believe that adhering to best medical practice should be as ironclad a defense in reality as the (mistaken) belief that truth is the perfect defense against defamation. I like the idea of video records, "open" charting, and more participation by the patient in his or her care and the decisions thereto. I would also like to see waivers be available so that people wishing to get the BEST care can say "I promise to keep the lawyers out of it if you promise to keep Dr. Death out of it, too."

Report cards? Also an idea worth investigating, although I'd be careful about too much information to the general public -- too few people have the willingness to learn the basics before trying to make decisions. "Sips of knowledge intoxicate the mind, while deeper drinking sobers it again."

Where I think report cards would be the most useful is when doctors can review the candidates when referring patients to specialists. Currently, that's done with "the old boys club";a more fact-based system would be preferable. Just a thought.

12 posted on 09/24/2012 6:31:00 AM PDT by asinclair (Curing the sickness, not adding to it.)
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To: TurboZamboni
Through the experiences of several close family members I have learned a thing or two in the past year about the health industry.

Bottom line - educate yourself and take charge of your own health.

And if something doesn't seem right, raise hell. You may be the only one who notices.

13 posted on 09/24/2012 6:39:33 AM PDT by skeeter
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To: TurboZamboni

Stay out of hospitals if you want to live a long life. With the influx of third-worlders in charge of sanitation, MERSA is killing many patients. Some below- grade hospital personnel are in charge of the distribution of medications, and predictably, mayhem ensues.

When our family member lay dying, a cheery go-fer from physical therapy arrived “to take her to therapy for some exercise.” Happily, there was family present to inform this cretin that she was comatose and wouldn’t be needing their services.

Does anyone think this atrocious situation will improve when the federal government takes charge of medical care in this country?


14 posted on 09/24/2012 6:45:48 AM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Little Ray
My wife will NOT allow a family member to be left alone in a Hospital. We just don’t trust them.

Wise woman. When my wife had surgery the nurses repeatedly tried to give her the wrong medicine. If I hadn't been there I don't know what the outcome would have been.

15 posted on 09/24/2012 6:46:08 AM PDT by Straight Vermonter (Posting from deep behind the Maple Curtain)
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To: TurboZamboni

I had to deal with yellow jaundice because I was overmedicated with meds that I had to take clear away my celluitis. It is gone now, but I will be having a “talk” tomorrow with my oral surgon.


16 posted on 09/24/2012 6:50:40 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: asinclair

so you were considering suing because they ran tests on you that you and some dipstick insurance “professional” thought didn’t need to be performed?

excuse me? your “cause of action” would be they took too good care of you?

If the tests hadn’t been run and you croaked, (a huge percentage of people do die from their first heart attack)your family would have jumped to the conclusion that the test would have definitely identified your problem and prevented your untimely demise.

YOU ASSUMED THE HOSPITAL DID SOMETHING WRONG, RIGHT? Just like everybody who doesn’t recognize death is normal, ya gotta croak from something, and that anytime someone doesn’t die, it is a freaking miracle.


17 posted on 09/24/2012 6:50:48 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: yldstrk

Did you read the article?


18 posted on 09/24/2012 6:51:22 AM PDT by GalaxyAB
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To: txrefugee

oh it’s not MERSA, it’s the third world employees killing the patients, right? Ridiculous


19 posted on 09/24/2012 6:52:25 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: G Larry
This is about a system where nobody double checks ANYTHING!

Funny you should mention that. I remember reading an article about seven years ago about a doctor who instituted checklists in his emergency room practice.

First, in that article, he discussed the history of the Boeing 299 airframe, and the demo in front of generals where the plane crashed in plain view of all the brass. Investigation into the fatal crash showed that some modifications had been made to the plane at the last minute, and the mods on top of all the other pesky little details were too much for the pilots to remember. A bunch of pilots who later flew evaluation articles decided that planes were getting too complicated to fly by the seat of their pants...and so was born the use of checklists. With astonishingly good results. That airframe went on to be the B-17 bomber.

Many medical procedures depend on a large number of small steps that have to be done in the right order, in the right amount, at the right time, and under considerable strain and pressure. Checklists help sort out all the pesky details, especially when nurses are empowered to be "co-pilots" and "flight engineers" to be sure that the "pilot" does everything correctly.

Don't forget the article points out that voluntary compliance may not be enough. Any quality control person will tell you that you can't assume, you have to check and make sure. So the use of cameras can provide the "focus" some people need to be sure they are doing the right thing.

I have had only one severely bad experience with a doctor, the one who misdiagnosed Mononucleosis -- his specialty was geriatrics but he took on a 19-year-old patient anyway, and passed the Dipliomate certification test. His malpractice put me in the hospital. 'Nuff said. That's why I have such a dim view of "certifications". In medicine, and elsewhere.

20 posted on 09/24/2012 6:54:43 AM PDT by asinclair (Curing the sickness, not adding to it.)
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To: TurboZamboni

As much as humanly possible, stay the hell out of them. As obamacare ripens to full maturity, this goes double for the old people.


21 posted on 09/24/2012 6:55:20 AM PDT by sport
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To: TurboZamboni
Bad as US hospitals might be they are infinitely better than their counterparts in countries with state run socialized medicine. In the UK substandard care that would bring massive law suits in the US is common place. In Australia there was a national scandal about patients lying in their own filth in state run hospitals.
22 posted on 09/24/2012 6:57:24 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: GalaxyAB

good point, just did read the whole thing.

dr hodad, scary. probably an alchy


23 posted on 09/24/2012 6:59:55 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: bert

My late SO, who was 46 when he died, and took sick with pulminary blood clots, after being treated at the hospital in first the ICU than on the heart/lungs floor, and when it seems he was getting better, a blood clot went to his heart and he died, when I visited him for hte short time he was there, I did see a catheter and I do wonder................:(


24 posted on 09/24/2012 7:00:51 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: yldstrk
YOU ASSUMED THE HOSPITAL DID SOMETHING WRONG, RIGHT?

Who said anything about suing? I was contesting the $30,000 in unnecessary testing that appeared on my $100,000 bill. My insurance company disallowed the expenses. My consultant agreed with my insurance company. And the doctors admitted that if it weren't for the malpractice exposure, they would not have conducted those particular tests -- my medical record didn't support the need for those later tests.

I particularly like your line "your 'cause of action' would be they took too good care of you?" Actually, they exposed me to risks that weren't warranted by the information in my chart. Not every test is harmless. When it can do harm and also not show anything useful, that's "something wrong."

Don't take my word for it. My doctor admitted it. The administrator admitted it. If they were guided by enforceable-in-court best practices and not malpractice case law, the doctors would never would have put me through that MRI for example.

And even thought it's none of your business: the tests were unrelated to my heart condition. I was already long past the dying part.

And five years later, I'm still paying off the hospital.

25 posted on 09/24/2012 7:09:31 AM PDT by asinclair (Curing the sickness, not adding to it.)
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To: txrefugee
I spent last week in the hospital for a lung infection. On the FIRST day, a patient service person came into my room and demanded I pay the bill right then and there, even though I have insurance. I refused to sign her papers and said send me a bill after insurance pays. I was shocked, even though I shouldn’t have been.
26 posted on 09/24/2012 7:16:43 AM PDT by Coldwater Creek (He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadows of the Almighty Psalm 91:)
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To: colorcountry

“Sloppy work, horrible outcome”

Yes it was a horrible outcome and never should have happened but when the hospital is run like a factory where productivity is the only concern these are the consequences.

When I was 16 I worked in a pocketbook factory where everyone was on piecework. The more you produced, the more money you made. Unfortunately this also produced inferior workmanship as noted by the enormous pile of returns of defective items from our custmers.

Forward two years later when I started working in a hopital laboratory. It was heaven. No one rushed ,we got coffee breaks, and results were checked and double checked. Now fast forward 35 years later. Two people are working where there had been 8. No money for a secretary so you are answering phone calls and giving out results while you are running analyzers, setting up hand test, packaging up send outs, and scanning blood films so patients don’t have to wait for their chemo. When you finally say I can’t do this anymore your supervisor comes in and tells you she is adding on another layer of responsibilities . When productivity, fewer people doing more work, becomes the standard in a hospital there will always be horrible consequences. Hospitals need fewer vice-presidents and more skilled workers.


27 posted on 09/24/2012 7:23:38 AM PDT by heylady (“Sometimes I wish I could be a Democrat and then I remember I have a soul.”( Deb))
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To: sport

there could be a lot of ‘accidental’ deaths of oldsters. especially ones who are a ‘drag on society’.


28 posted on 09/24/2012 7:32:30 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: sport

This is why we got to get Romney elected come November. I fear for my country if Obama get re-elected.


29 posted on 09/24/2012 7:33:13 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Coldwater Creek

When I was in the hospital this summer, I was asked questions about the stuff that I brought, which was the clothes on my back and my pocketbook and bag of Bible and spirtual books. I was having a rough first night in the hospital.


30 posted on 09/24/2012 7:36:25 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: yldstrk
I found out from a front page article in the New York Times that the blood I was given in 1991 was never tested for HepC. That's not “perfection,” that's minimal competency.
31 posted on 09/24/2012 7:56:19 AM PDT by Excellence (9/11 was an act of faith.)
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To: TurboZamboni

I found out all I needed to know when visiting a cancer center to take my Dad for chemo. There I found they have little to no interest in addressing the root cause of the cancer. In the waiting room was an Icee machine full of acid and sugar. In effect they are feeding cancer patients more acid and more sugar thereby giving the cancer cells exactly what they need to thrive. I was appalled.

I understand nothing tastes right when the patient is pumped full of poison. Often cold beverages are something that’s well tolerated. However encouraging more sugar and acidic intake is an abomination.


32 posted on 09/24/2012 8:04:46 AM PDT by numberonepal (First they came for Sarah, then they came for Herman.....)
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To: TurboZamboni
Medical mistakes kill enough people each week to fill four jumbo jets

A pretty bold but UNSUBSTANTIATED (so far) statement. Also are they configured in 3 class service or all coach? Figures lie...liars figure.

33 posted on 09/24/2012 8:45:45 AM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: Straight Vermonter
When my wife had surgery the nurses repeatedly tried to give her the wrong medicine.

Ditto. 'Hospitals are the most dangerous place on earth.'

34 posted on 09/24/2012 8:53:09 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: yldstrk
I guess that's why YOU are NOT a Doc!

They found and removed a polyp, which they cut and cauterized, rather than clamped, which is what the should have done, given it's size.

When you're a cancer survivor and its been 14 years since your last “inspection”.....then it's time.

35 posted on 09/24/2012 9:17:27 AM PDT by G Larry (Which of Obama's policies do you think I'd support if he were white?)
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To: yldstrk

When imperfect results wind up with you dead you have a pretty solid reason to demand perfection.


36 posted on 09/24/2012 9:20:15 AM PDT by discostu (Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.)
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To: numberonepal

I wish the CDC/WHO would worry about medical errors as much as they worry about who owns a gun.


37 posted on 09/24/2012 9:40:12 AM PDT by TurboZamboni (Looting the future to bribe the present)
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To: ImNotLying
I had a friend who went to the hospital for right knee replacement surgery. Just before he went to surgery, he had his wife take a Sharpie and write on his “left” knee, “Wrong knee Doc”. And she wrote on his belly, “right knee replacement, not a vasectomy”. The doc said after the surgery that he got a good laugh out of it and said he might make this part of his routine prep.

What you describe is actually becoming fairly common. It sounds silly, but something so silly can dramatically reduce medical misadventure.  Any doctor who would object to something like this needs to be run away from.

38 posted on 09/24/2012 10:08:19 AM PDT by zeugma (Rid the world of those savages. - Dorothy Woods, widow of a Navy Seal, AMEN!)
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To: Straight Vermonter

Similar thing happened to my Mother-in-Law. Had some major surgery and the idiot nurses didn’t elevate the legs or put pressure garment on them, and nearly killed her with blood clots.


39 posted on 09/24/2012 10:17:15 AM PDT by Little Ray (AGAINST Obama in the General.)
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To: G Larry

“This is about a system where nobody double checks ANYTHING!

As they assume somebody else checked.”

As a computer systems analyst and network engineer in a corporate environment for 25 years, I essentially assumed that no one I worked with did their job correctly, and I double checked everything that someone else did or claimed.


40 posted on 09/24/2012 10:23:06 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: Little Ray

“My wife will NOT allow a family member to be left alone in a Hospital. We just don’t trust them.”

Same here. We NEVER, EVER allow a loved one to be alone in a hospital. EVER.


41 posted on 09/24/2012 10:24:54 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: Little Ray

“My wife will NOT allow a family member to be left alone in a Hospital. We just don’t trust them.”

Same here. We NEVER, EVER allow a loved one to be alone in a hospital. EVER.


42 posted on 09/24/2012 10:37:22 AM PDT by catnipman (Cat Nipman: Vote Republican in 2012 and only be called racist one more time!)
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To: TurboZamboni

I wish they would concentrate on the CAUSE of diseases rather than treatments, but there’s little money in that.


43 posted on 09/25/2012 6:48:38 AM PDT by numberonepal (First they came for Sarah, then they came for Herman.....)
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