Monday, November 26, 2007

People Vs. OPMC

In late 2000, a group of us visited with the OPMC, Office of Professional Medical Conduct in New York City to discuss the unfairness of the group’s cases of what they felt were medical misconduct. The cases were closed by the OPMC and in our opinion, unfairly so.

I met earlier with the person in charge who invited me to bring members of PULSE to present their case and maybe they would be reopened. I spent many long hours investigating cases, reviewing backgrounds and information given to me that I believed was an obvious oversight, or perhaps purposely left out of the cases that were reviewed by the OPMC. I worked with the patient, and sometimes surviving family members to review the information and draw up the correct information to be presented, this time with the patients’ side of the story.

We met with a fairly large group of OPMC staff and each participant got to share their concerns. We presented information that we felt was important to each case. In one case, a patient found a letter to another doctor in her medical file asking her next doctor to lie were he to be called in as a witness. This was submitted to the OPMC. In another case, I used research by the doctor in question that said no one should use the medication prescribed for this patient. The doctor recommended a series of treatments to the elderly patient that this doctor himself suggested should never be used – ultimately killing the patient.

When we left the meeting, I was told by the people there that the OPMC needs a lot of work. “It’s people like you”, one person in charge told me, “that can get things done”.

We trusted that these cases would be reopened as it was early in my advocacy career and I still had faith in the system. Weeks went by and each participant received a letter that read that the case is still closed. No further investigation was in order.

Months later, I was invited to give testimony about the work of the OPMC. I brought some of these people with me but was most surprised when the first panel gave testimony and one of the legislators said to the OPMC staff “you were pleased with the way you operate. You thought you were doing the state a service and you quoted various indicators that nationally you were recognized as doing a good job.”

The staff person now had an opportunity to suggest changes, but he didn’t. He protected his job while putting patients in harm’s way. “He lied to me” I thought. I later saw him in the hallway and he began to share pleasantries. “You lied to me or you lied under oath” I told him. I was soon to learn how the OPMC ran.

Now today, many years later, Dr. Harvey Finkelstein of Plainview is in the news. The doctor broke some rules, the OPMC investigated and the public is not permitted to know what he did, what the OPMC did, what was found or how it was handled. We have to assume that the state has our best interest in mind - but I think we know better. Actually, the whole thing makes me physically sick.

Posters on Infections

I spent today at a local college helping the graphics design class design posters with the subject of my choosing. Of course, with the recent press about the spreading of infections and MRSA, I was able to talk to them about the importance of hand washing and just knowing about germs, diseases and hospital acquired infections.

They had a choice to design a poster for a school or a hospital or even a doctor’s office. Anyplace that people needed to be reminded to wash their hands. My first visit was to talk about the statistics of hospital acquired infections. I put a face on the numbers and we talked about the obvious things people can do to avoid infections.

Today I went back to review their posters before the final project is due next week. The most impressive thing about this is that these kids, ages 19-20 really “get it”. They can be taught about infections and the importance of hand washing, avoiding germs and proper contact. Some developed super heroes. Others focused on kid stuff like the germs on cell phones and I-Pods. Some did their project with instructions on hand washing. One young man designed a super hero that zapped the germs but wouldn’t use the word “kill” because that would not be kid friendly.

It was fun. The best part of my work is introducing people to patient safety in a friendly and fun manner. I give a 100% to my friend Diane who let’s me do this with her class. She’s a teacher who really cares about substance as well as the art.

To see a news clip of the event visit:

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dirty Needle Doctor

The recent press about Dr. Harvey Finkelstein has really got me in a tailspin. Just when you think we may be making headway, New York proves we are light years behind in protecting patients.

First, how bad must this doctor be if he didn’t know basic infection control procedures? If he didn’t know, he should be closed down immediately - and if he did know but didn’t follow the procedures, he should have been closed down immediately. But instead, our state Department of Health, Office of Professional Medical Conduct kept him open for business while monitoring him allowing him access to more patients and opportunities of spreading more disease and ruining more lives.

Second, what was going on that took the OPMC so long in this investigation? He either didn’t know procedures or he did. (see above) either way, he should have some kind of discipline to make sure he doesn’t think he can get away with not knowing what most medical students (so I have heard a lot about recently) learn in the beginning of their career, basic infection control methods.

This guy is a scapegoat. He’s not the first person to get away with bad behavior in our states disciplining process. He’s one who got caught. With the lack of transparency we have no idea what goes on when a doctor is being investigated – or not. There is no reason we shouldn’t post physicians who are being investigated unless the OPMC investigates unnecessarily. If they don’t investigate for sound reason, let the public know that there is, in fact an investigation going on.

Just look at this guys profile he’s got 10 malpractice payments since 1998 – 5 above average. He only graduated in 1981. Hardly something a patient should ignore. Don’t tell me anesthesiologists get sued regularly. I went to the same website and out of the first 15 anesthesiologists I looked at (in alphabetical order to make it fair), only one had a malpractice payout listed.

Surely someone is not doing their job. After 3 malpractice payouts, shouldn’t someone be looking a little bit deeper at the doctor’s practice?

Its not like patients or surviving family members have too many choices how to proceed if they are not satisfied with their care. They either complain to the facility, go to the state Department of Health or find a lawyer to take their case. In this instance the DOH let the public down by not disciplining the doctor or at least shutting him down immediately, allowing him to control what patients names get shared for the investigation and which names don’t therefore delaying the information getting to the public. The DOH waited until the statute of limitations of 2.5 years ran out. So now what does the public have to count on to protect us?
Thank goodness for the press.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Is Flying Like Surgery?

I used to hate to fly. I don’t hate it as much any more. I don’t fly that much. Maybe much more than when I worked in the post office, but much less than some of my colleagues in patient safety.

I hated flying because of the lack of control, frustration of being locked in a seat for many hours and just missing being with my family. I don’t “hate” it as much for the same reason. I looked at the clouds this morning on my early morning walk and said aloud “I’ll be there soon”, locked in a seat, leaving troubles behind – but still missing my family. The last time I flew, I realized there is nothing I can do to protect myself. I simply had to trust the airline industry, pilot and everyone else who worked together to keep me, and the other passengers safe. It helped me to think of leaving all my frustrations behind and I was “lifted” above the world of work, frustration and any stressful thoughts.

It’s almost like that with surgery. We are “locked” in our seat. My dad is going for surgery next week. I can’t stand it. He is my hero, my rock. He knows about patient safety, maybe too much and he did his homework. He chose the doctor he liked best for a whole lot of reasons. My dad has to use the hospital his doctor uses. Going for surgery is almost like getting on a plane. It is limiting what you can do to stay safe.

I don’t want my dad to be thinking about telling the staff to wash their hands or to plan on asking them to not kill him with someone else’s medication. He should not have to worry about making sure people know who he is and have the correct procedure. I will be there to do my best. But, now I’m nervous because even some of the best doctors have watched horrible things happen to their family and felt powerless to avoid it.

What scares me about this “partnership”, the term used so freely in healthcare to make patients think they have a role in their safe care, is that this hospital has never shown any interest in partnerships – at least to me, a community member who travels around the country talking about the patients role in patient safety and does community education in this hospitals community.

I have reached out many times to South Nassau Communities Hospital in Oceanside LI but have never received a response, even a generic letter from the staff or CEO who I have contacted to learn about their role in patient safety. Although like many Long Island hospitals, I’m sure they do care about patient safety, especially after the recent news about a dead baby being found in their laundry, but I just can’t seem to find how they include the patient in patient safety. Maybe they hand the patient a Joint Commission Speak Up Brochure in their admissions packet.

When putting the words patient safety into their search engine, I get a picture and bio of the CEO. I was so shocked that I asked others to try in case my computer wasn’t working. Nothing – or at least nothing that I could find about this hospital working with their patients for safe, quality care.

So, I guess I will be on the plane later today and hope for the best, and I will be with my dad for surgery next week at South Nassau Communities Hospital and hope for the best, but if for any reason we are not satisfied…………………….

Thursday, October 25, 2007

New York City Health and Hospital Corporation Community Advisory Boards

In 1970, when NY City Health and Hospital Corporation was created to operate the city’s municipal hospitals, a provision in the state’s enabling legislation mandated that Community Advisory Boards or CABs become an integral part of the HHC framework.

Since that time community members have been involved in the needs of the community as it relates to health care and the relationship to NY City hospitals.

This means that NY City Health and Hospital Corporation is actually the grandfather of the patient and family involvement in healthcare which has been becoming a fast growing movement in this country, and now in the world.

Some other places you may find patient and family involvement are:
The Institute of Family Centered Care, founded in 1992 mission, in part is to work “In partnership with patients, families, and health care professionals from many disciplines, the Institute for Family-Centered Care promotes the understanding and practice of patient- and family-centered care.”

In the late 1990’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute founded adult and pediatric Patient and Family Advisory Councils to serve as a "voice of the patient" for patients and family members of patients.

The National Patient Safety Foundation founded the P-FAC, Patient and Family Advisory Council in the late 90’s and the Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety started a Patient and Family Advisory Group in 2006 linked to the WHO’s World Alliance for Patient Safety.

But since 1970 CAB members have met with HHC staff to discuss system wide issues, report concerns from the community and recommend policies to the President and Board of Directors of HHC.

One role of a CAB member is to “function as a link between HHC facilities and their community”

Hospitals and patient safety organizations throughout the country are now following in the footsteps of New York City to develop what New York City saw as a workable solution to the problems of the city’s growing population - include the voice of the patient!

For the first time, this group of community leaders, activists and advocates associated with the HHC CAB's are learning about safety and quality. I am excited to be part of it. I suggest the rest of the world begin to stand up and take notice.

Maybe we need legislation before the state gives more money to hospitals and healthcare organizations still not including the patient and family involvement.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Joint Commission Hearing

I probably just returned from one of the most important things I will do as a patient safety advocate. I was a panelist at a hearing for the Joint Commission.

Joint Commission accredited facilities, found to have standards not met by the surveyor at the time of the survey, can have a hearing to explain (or defend) the surveyors findings. As a member of the Joint Commission Board and Accreditation Committee, I am obligated to be a panelist once or more a year.

I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to hear how a facility would try to defend themselves against what could be dangerous circumstances that could potentially harm, or even kill an innocent patient. But I am obligated to. And as a patient safety advocate, I am obligated to understand, for the people I sometimes represent how, in fact bad things can happen.

I also understood that I was not there to make judgment. There were three of us. The two others were actually professional staff members at a similar facility to those who were going to plead their case. I didn’t have to know the details of how a facility is run – they did and they were very good at it.

It was surprising to me how I was able to remove myself from the patient / family role just for the short time to listen, learn and absorb information about the things that can happen in healthcare that most of us, who don’t work in healthcare don’t really understand. I needed to remember that the Joint Commissions role is not to “punish” but in part to report. If you were supposed to lock that cabinet and it wasn’t locked – you did not follow policy – period.

But there also are some gray areas that can be defended with proper guidance of those who know the system and understand the loopholes.

I began to find myself drifting into a land of make believe. What if I was capable of “closing down that facility” as so many patients and families feel is necessary after the death of a family member. What if I could snap my fingers and have the healthcare facility lose accreditation? I began to realize that the people who would suffer are the people like myself who also count on this place to help them get well and offer a community service. Then, I thought to myself, I really do want to help healthcare organizations help their patients. Why, oh why can’t they just follow the rules?

Sunday, October 14, 2007


Yesterday was the anniversary of James’ death. I worry about his mom and think about what brought us together. James died because of his medical care and his mom and family have gone through so much.

It is sad that James died. His mom is a really good lady. I really like her and probably could have been friends with her if we met under different circumstances but sadly, many of the people I meet are people who have had bad outcomes in their health care. I don’t become friends with them all, but a few times I have been blessed with relationships that last.

It breaks my heart that James died. It means that we failed another family. I am - and have been trying to stop deaths like James’ from happening but it still happened. I guess I will feel the guilt too with every injury or death that I can’t stop.

I am sad for James, his family and all the others.

It’s breast cancer month this month. The airline offered lemonade at $2.00 a glass which would then be donated to breast cancer research. I wonder how much money has been collected for patient safety research. How do we memorialize our children? There are no runs or fund-raisers for them. As I get lost in all the pink this month I have to wonder, what about the rest of us?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Visit to Idaho

I received my invitation to speak in Idaho many months ago and never really felt the enthusiasm of speaking until after my presentation. In this case, I got to spend 2 1/2 hours with Idaho’s healthcare leaders. I was nervous, as I usually am but in this case, I needed to keep their attention for over 2 hours and leave them with lessons and tools to work with. More important, I need to know that by being there, the people in Idaho will be safer because there will be a better understanding of the patients needs. I loved the extra time and got as much out of working with this group in an interactive setting as they may have gotten.

I was lucky enough to share a car ride back to the airport and then spend time in the airport with some attendees. We got to share more information and had a dialogue about some of the work they are doing. I was told by one hospital leader that he "will never forget" my presentation. He didn't have to say that. All I do is tell stories that I hear from others.

If telling stories matters, than don't we all have them? Is it the way we tell them that matters? I like to share people’s stories and the lessons learned. Everyone should have a voice but many can't use it. I will tell their story, for as long as they let me and anyone wants to hear.....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Another Story Makes the News

Another story makes it to the news. A Long Island woman had a double mastectomy and didn’t need it. She never did have cancer the article in Long Island Newsday reports.

The story doesn’t shock me. The fact that it made the news - does. Why, we often wonder do some stories make the news and some don’t? If they all did, surely the country would be in more of an uproar about the problems with safe, quality care than it is right now. Newsday tracked down another woman also suffered similar fate. She went through unnecessary radiation. Maybe if her story became public this may not have happened another time. No one knows how many more similar life altering experiences are out there.

We read these articles and find them sad and even anger us but then, we leave the newspaper behind. This Long Island woman can’t just change the channel and turn off the news about what happened. Like millions of others who suffer from medical errors, she will live with it every day. From the moment she wakes up in the morning until the moment she goes to sleep at night she is forced to live with what someone else did to her – someone who works in the same system we all trust.

Because the damage done to her, what about her future doctor appointments; her test results for herself or her family? Will she ever trust the system again? The emotional mess that this will cause her won’t ever be reported because in just a few weeks, it will be old news.

Medical errors seem sporadic because that is the way they are reported. If we allowed all those who suffered to speak out, and listed the names of all the dead, it would fill volumes.

And let’s not forget that the doctors, hospitals and even the lab is being paid for these services. I’m sure no one offered her a refund or her insurance company a refund and chances are, her insurance company wouldn’t ask for one. So, now there is one woman out there who did not get her lab results in a timely manner and was walking around with breast cancer and didn’t know it and another woman who had multiple surgeries and didn’t need it. If you want to know where the real drain is on our healthcare system-there it is!

Read the Newsday article here:,0,309488.story

Friday, October 5, 2007

Night Shift

I recently spoke to the evening and night shift at a local hospital. I was really surprised to find that the staff weren’t very familiar with the patient safety information that is offered to the patient upon admission to the facility. Some of the questions I ask, and they can win prizes for answering correctly, is information taken directly from the admissions office, usually information found in the Speak Up brochure tucked nicely into a folder.

At first I thought they were just being shy and not responding. But then I realized it really was foreign to them.

There is no point in even trying to blame anyone or any system for this missing piece. Obviously this health system cares enough about the potential problems that could arise to ask me to come in. What did bother me is that how many healthcare institutions aren’t aware of the lack of information getting to their night shift when it comes to patient safety information, or any other important information. I hope they are reading this!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Medication Safety Report one Year Later

A year has past that the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies reported that “Medication errors are among the most common medical errors, harming at least 1.5 million people every year”. On July 20th, 2006 the report read that extra medical costs of treating drug-related injuries occurring in hospitals alone conservatively amount to $3.5 billion a year, and this estimate does not take into account lost wages and productivity or additional health care costs.

Do you feel safer a year later? Do you have knowledge of what can be done to protect yourself from medication errors at home or in the hospital? The report estimated that on average, there is at least one medication error per hospital patient per day, although error rates vary widely across facilities. Not all errors lead to injury or death, but the number of preventable injuries that do occur is estimated at least 1.5 million each year.

The report provided consumers with information to become more interactive in their own care such as asking questions about how to take medications properly and what to do if side effects occur. This is not always possible if a patient is sick or injured. But this is obviously important enough for consumers to have an advocate available to help with this life-saving information.

Also included are actions consumers should take, such as requesting that your providers give you a printed record of the drugs you have been prescribed. Patients should maintain an up-to-date list of all medications you use -- including over-the-counter products, herbals and dietary supplements -- and share it with all your health care providers and the pharmacist. This list should also note the reason you take each product and drug or food allergies you may have.

If patients are too sick to do this on their own, PULSE of New York, a grassroots patient safety advocacy organization encourages family members to help each other. Other tips for patient safety can be found at

Our government spent hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars on this study, won’t you expect them to at least share this information with you?

Thursday, July 26, 2007

How Heroes Are Made

I often think back to 1997 as I stood up high on a stage with a large curtain behind me and looked down upon over 100 adults over the age of 65 drinking coffee and eating bagels at a local senior center. I was to be their guest speaker about being active participants in their healthcare for the best possible outcomes. As my colleague handed out literature about patient safety, I spoke about the lack of information available to the public about healthcare. This was even before the Institute of Medicine report came out in 1999 that made safety, a bit more common term in healthcare.

For the years that followed, I continued these speaking engagements any place I was asked to speak. Out of these presentations came lessons I would learn, that I could share with the next group I would be able to speak to. In the years that follow that fall morning that I stood on a stage, I have always wondered who that works in healthcare will ever back me up on the numbers and statistics that I share.

There are many leaders in healthcare who acknowledge there is a problem with medication errors, infections and bad outcomes. They often talk amongst each other and lecture to rooms full of other medical professionals. But, it’s the public who must be aware of the problems associated with care also so they can play a role in improving outcomes. Were there no leaders who would do this?

On June 6, 2007 I was invited to speak at the New York City Health and Hospital Corporation Community Advisory Board Annual Meeting. Each facility associated with NY City HHC has a Community Advisory Board or CAB. The CAB is made up of community leaders who work together for the improvement of the hospital for the community.

On this date, I was going to speak to the CAB members about patient safety. I’ve done this hundreds of times before, but never with the support, full support of a hospital or healthcare systems leadership. On this evening, after everyone was well fed, I was going to tell them that people die in hospitals from medical errors, infections and other complications that shouldn’t happen. I was going to tell them that it could be them or someone they love next and I was going to tell them that the hospital leadership knows this. I would tell them true stories about people who have died in hospitals, how it could have been avoided and what they should do to participate in their own care. And, I hoped to even be able to make them laugh at some of my stories, experiences and audio-visuals.

As the early part of the evening went on, I sat next to Mr. Alan Aviles, HHC President and CEO. I asked him if he was ready. “There will be no turning back” I told him almost feeling sorry for him.

He made a comment about full transparency and shook my hand. “Full transparency” I thought. You can’t get any more transparent than this.

Mr. Aviles was introduced to his community and he was supposed to speak for 5 minutes. The 5 minutes turned into much longer as I listened, heart pounding and palms sweating as the Chief Executive of one of the nations largest healthcare system stood in front of his community members, customers of his services and told them exactly what I would have said. “Medical errors kill as many as 98,000 people a year in hospitals”.

He told them the truth. He told them about errors, infections, deaths and injuries. As my heart beat with anticipation, I watched the audience staring in awe, some with their mouths wide open, some with their face all twisted, all listening intently. I sat at the edge of my seat waiting, waiting to see what else he can say. He continued to tell the truth.

I wasn’t sue the rest of the audience knew how courageous Mr. Aviles was that day. I am sure his staff there knew. He didn’t sugar coat the problem and he spoke directly to those who use his healthcare system. This bravery to me has never been matched. Now when I go to speak with his staff or work with the patients of NY Health and Hospital Corporation I will do so with the same respect he showed everyone that day. His patients deserve the best and he wants them to have the best. Shouldn’t we all be there to help him along? To fix a problem, we have to acknowledge a problem and that’s how heroes are made.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Show Me The Numbers??

How many preventable medical errors are actually happening in our hospitals? When our friends, neighbors or family go into the hospital, are they safe? I really don’t know. No one seems to have the numbers because no one has to report it to the public. Do we even know how many people have the wrong procedure done, have been misdiagnosed or have had procedures they never even needed?

I was recently asked by a well respected community leader what is the problem on Long Island. Show me the numbers. I’m not sure we ever could. That’s because there is no funding available to pressure the hospitals to come clean in their reporting to the public. The funding to our legislators actually comes from the hospitals and healthcare industry.

Deaths from preventable medical errors are a problem across the country as reported by the Institute of Medicine in 1999. As many as 98,000 people die in hospitals from preventable medical errors in this country. Healthgrades, an independent firm in Colorado almost doubled that number in 2004 to 195,000 deaths. With 300 million people in the country and 3 million people on Long Island, using the lowest estimate, that would mean as many as 1,000 people die on Long Island in hospitals from preventable medical errors. Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) kill over 100,000 people annually which means the same amount of people on Long Island are dying from HAIs each year.

Firemen and policemen go to work fully prepared to do their jobs for safety reasons but yet hand washing in hospitals is still seen as a burden to many who work there.

On July 20, 2006, a report from the Institute of Medicine came out again that as many as 1.5 million people are injured from medication errors every year. Using this same calculation this would mean that 15,000 Long Islanders suffer from medication errors every year.

This may not be the statistics that our community leaders want but it is we have right now. And actually, when it’s your mother, father or child who dies or is permanently injured by a preventable medical error, isn’t “one” the number that counts?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Patient Safety: It's Nobody's Responsibility

Most recently I met with Nassau County Presiding Officer Judith Jacobs to ask about Nassau County funding programs to educate patients and families about patient safety so they can understand the complexities of healthcare and learn about patient safety. Guess what she said – there is no funding available. This is hard to believe when Newsday reports that part time politically appointed board members are given full health benefits. The presiding officers of both Suffolk and Nassau county legislatures criticized the benefits as if they didn’t know about it.

What I find appalling after reading articles like this is that in April of 2005 I met with Mary Curtis, Nassau Deputy County Executive for Health & Human Services and we spoke briefly about the need for Nassau County to show some interest in patient safety as part of health and human services. She told me then, the same thing her predecessor told me a year earlier. There is no funding for patient safety education.

Only a year earlier, she was supportive because it was not her saying they can’t help, it was Mr. John Gallagher who went on to be the Interim Director and CEO of Stony Brook University Hospital.

I had the same conversation with my own county legislator Dennis Dunne Sr. and he too said there was no funding available. The list goes on and on. And in most cases, none of these county leaders even knew there was a problem with patient safety in our hospitals or in the healthcare system across the country. So, our tax dollars continue to be spent on health insurance for political appointees but not a dime is spent on Long Island for patient safety education and quality care for the residents.

I think the counties both Nassau and Suffolk owe it to the residents to put some effort into patient safety and quality education.

Monday, April 9, 2007

NY State Senator Kenneth LaValle and Stony Brook

NY State Senator Kenneth LaValle introduced legislation to establish a quality assessment board of 9 - 12 outside members for Stony Brook University Medical Center that would monitor patient safety. The plan did not pass muster in Albany. The bill is reportedly the same as a resolution passed last month by trustees of SUNY.

In response, Stony Brook Hospital plans to establish an advisory board, rather than an oversight board. And instead of the state being involved in implementing the process, Stony Brook Hospital will watch over itself.

Here are three questions for Stony Brook:

Will the board included national experts on patient safety who have a track record of reducing harm from medical mistakes? I hope it does because the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences says that most doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators were not trained to make health care organizations safer. Problems can't be fixed if people don't know how to.

Will the hospital report all of its *sentinel events to the board and report how each one was handled and the actions taken to prevent them from occurring again? If the hospital can't be candid with its own oversight board, how can the board do real oversight?

Finally, what power will the board have? If it is just advisory and has no teeth, what good will it do for the people of Long Island?

What do you think about what this board should do to make health care better and safer for patients and families?

*A sentinel event is defined by the Joint Commission as any unanticipated event in a healthcare setting resulting in death or serious physical or psychological injury to a person or persons, not related to the natural course of the patient's illness.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Free Scholarships Because they Survived the Healthcare System

An April 6, 2007 a Long Island Newsday article was written about the sextuplets born in Stony Brook University Hospital ten years ago. Thankfully, these six children are perfectly healthy and living normal lives. Stony Brook Hospital has offered them full college scholarships. What a heart warming story!

What happens at Stony Brook Hospital when medical errors or adverse events occur? Does Stony Brook Hospital tell patients and families what went wrong and why? Does it offer an apology, or even scholarships to families for their children when there is irreparable harm, or even death, from medical errors? Or is there a wall of silence and the doors are slammed shut?

The good news is that some hospitals around the country are beginning to do the right thing when patients are harmed. Will Stony Brook Hospital do the same?

The people who work at Stony Brook Hospital help many people return home healthy and able to live a long and happy life. But things don't always go so well, and people on Long Island are suffering today because of those mistakes and are still looking for answers.
What do you think Stony Brook Hospital should do when people are harmed by medical errors? PULSE is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to making health care better and safer for all of us on Long Island. I want to hear from you.