A Special Day for Patient Safety

Today, December 16, 2019, is the day that Vanessa’s Law takes effect. What this means is that starting today, all hospitals in Canada must report serious adverse drug reactions and medical device incidents. This is a very special day for patient safety in Canada!

Who Needs to be Transparent?

There is much discussion around the need for transparency in the healthcare sector, with patient advocacy groups being a strong voice in this discussion. However, what about their own transparency?

“Pharmaceutical companies gave at least $116 million to patient advocacy groups in a single year, reveals a new database logging 12,000 donations from large publicly traded drugmakers to such organizations….

The database, called “Pre$cription for Power,” shows that donations to patient advocacy groups tallied for 2015 — the most recent full year in which documents required by the Internal Revenue Service were available — dwarfed the total amount the companies spent on federal lobbying. The 14 companies that contributed $116 million to patient advocacy groups reported only about $63 million in lobbying activities that same year.

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Uncovering Medical Errors

According to a recent study done by researchers at John Hopkins University, the number of inpatient deaths from medical errors have increased. With 251,000 error-based inpatient deaths occurring each year in the US, only heart disease and cancer cause more fatalities.

It is time to implement more aggressive measures to combat this epidemic of medical errors, even a measure that undoubtedly would not sit well with doctors, hospitals and, most certainly, their liability insurance carriers. But it is a measure that the health care industry should embrace if its No. 1 priority truly is patient safety. What is this measure? Doing away with keeping secret from the public the findings of hospital peer review committees.

Click here to read the full article.