Saturday, February 23, 2008

Mercy Medical Center Holds Press Conference

If you live on Long Island, unless you live under a rock, you have heard the charges by Dr. Anthony Colantonio, a Garden City surgeon, against Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre. LI Newsday covered this story as did the local News 12 channel for days until Mercy Medical Center held a 30 minute press conference to respond to the charges.

The response was by a group of doctors in crisp clean lab coats and staff in suits telling the listeners and viewers how wonderful Mercy Medical Center is. I am sure there are thousands of people, patients and families who also think Mercy Medical Center is a wonderful facility. I have heard great stories come out of there. What I didn't hear them say, is that when patients or health care providers are dissatisfied with their care, there is a way it is handled, there is a place for them to take their concerns and how they are handled.

The press conference participants had some strong words about the doctor who reported complaints. Dr. Anthony Colantonio does not have the cleanest record as reported at this press conference. We have to wonder why, Dr. Colantonio was continually working at the facility and only recently given a "leave of absence" pending an investigation and hearing. Unfortunately, it seems that Mercy as well as other hospitals have doctors who they feel may be unfit to work at their facility still seeing patients.

Unfortunetely, the public only knows what we are told by the media and with continued lack of any transparency the health care system and the doctors reputation are handled secretly while we, the public are left to get treatment at our most vulnerable time not knowing what kind of squabbling is going on possibly jeopardizing all of us.

It is only a matter of time until another story breaks at another hospital and we have to wonder if this one is preparing to work with the public before it happens or are they cleaning their lab coats for the next press conference?

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Russian Roulette

Another Patient dies from surgery but even worse, the patient never needed the surgery?

I would like to think that this is a terrible accident but I don't think so. I think that hospitals can play Russian Roulette with our lives. Hopefully you, or I won't become the one who falls into the hands of the untrained, unqualified, overworked staff or understaffed "system" that is cutting corners to save money jeopardizing our lives.

The hospital is sorry? Of course they are sorry. They are sorry they got caught and a patient and their entire family have to now pay the lifetime of emotional pain that will go with this incident. They can be sorry but the patient is dead and it never should have happened!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Go Red

February 1, 2008 was Wear Red Day to heighten awareness in heart disease in women. The Go Red for Women movement is aimed to encourage women to change their lifestyle in order to avoid heart disease in order to live better and longer. By wearing red, they are bringing attention to and encouraging women to pay attention to their heart.

Watching the news that evening, I learned heart disease is the number one killer in women. But, stories I heard that made it to the local news were about the misdiagnosis of heart disease. Every woman said her heart disease was misdiagnosed. It sounds like the misdiagnosis should also be being addressed. Maybe then it wouldn’t be the number one killer!

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.