Tag: Bob Wachter

  • Are hospitals getting any safer?

    Just over ten years ago a report by the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, more or less launched the patient safety movement with its estimate that medical error was responsible for something like 50-100,000 deaths annually. That’s a chilling statistic. It’s also one that has been disputed as overblown. But overblown or not,…

  • Are hospitals getting safer?

    Ten years ago a report by the Institute of Medicine, a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, more or less launched the patient safety movement with its estimate that medical error was responsible for something like 50-100,000 deaths annually. That’s a chilling statistic. It’s also one that has been disputed as overblown. But overblown…

  • Comparing quality of care among hospitals

    A few months ago I wrote about the issue of knowing if your child is in a good PICU or not. Recently the federal Department of Health and Human Services began the first halting steps toward allowing ordinary citizens to compare easily how different hospitals perform — they put up an easy-to-use website that lets…

  • Outrageous medical errors

    I’ve written before about medical errors. Recently there was a horrendous one, in which a man in Boston got an operation on the wrong part of his body. Other than underscoring the fact that humans are fallible, what can we learn from this terrible incident? There are supposed to be safeguards in place to prevent…

  • Google joins the healthcare scene

    Two-thirds of all internet users do Google searches to look for health information. So we shouldn’t be surprised that Google is entering the world of healthcare in a big way. A couple days ago Google Health went live. It’s still only in a beta version, but users can already give it a test drive. So…

  • Confidentiality for a celebrity's health records

    All of us have the expectation that our medical records, those personal things about us and our families, are safe from prying eyes. Federal law (HIPAA) protects our privacy and mandates quite strict standards, leading to all those forms you have to sign when you go to the doctor. In these days of the electronic…

  • Confidentiality for a celebrity’s health records

    All of us have the expectation that our medical records, those personal things about us and our families, are safe from prying eyes. Federal law (HIPAA) protects our privacy and mandates quite strict standards, leading to all those forms you have to sign when you go to the doctor. In these days of the electronic…