Sunday, February 3, 2008

It's the Patient Safety Hour

On January 29, 2008, late in the day, I received an e-mail that the NY State Health Commissioner and my state senator were holding a “round table” discussion the next morning about the infections on Long Island. Specifically, the event was related to the recent press about multidose vials after the recent spread of hepatitis C.

I was a bit surprised to see how this roundtable was actually meant to be a media event,0,4710641.story

There were no handouts for the general public, only the reporters who attended. And the information was the same as it usually is, these are the problems and this is what we should do. So do it!

Why do our elected and appointed leaders feel that it is the media’s job to report what is being done in the field of patient safety? There are still no groups who are supported to do patient safety education yet in the community. Could you imagine if the only education about breast cancer came from media? We would have never moved forward to battle the disease. Imagine if doctor’s offices or clinics didn’t discuss diabetes with their patients? How would diabetes ever be tackled?

Unfortunately patient safety is still, in my humble opinion an opportunity for healthcare institutions to ask for money and hire people to exam issues within their systems. Until patient safety becomes more transparent, it will stay a secret and not move forward to real change.

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