A Duty to Report Patient Harm

curtain transparencyThe headline on the Huffington Post  stings.  “Count the Dead From Medical Harm,” writes Rosemary Gibson, author of  Wall of Silence: The Untold Story of the Medical Mistakes That Kill and Injure Millions of Americans.   Her research has shown a disturbing lack of transparency in the hospital industry, and an abundance of it is done intentionally.

Nurses in Minnesota were successful in 2013 in creating a small crack in our own state’s Wall of Silence by advancing legislation that requires hospitals to reveal on a quarterly basis their core staffing levels.  Starting in January, 2014, those reports will be posted publicly on the Minnesota Hospital Quality Reports website at  http://www.mnhospitalquality.org/.    Patients and families are encouraged to check this site frequently to assess patterns in hospital staffing.

But the report is one small step in the amount of life-saving measures that can and should be done.  We need a minimum standard of care so every patient, at any hour in any hospital in Minnesota can be assured enough nurses are on duty to deliver the care that is needed.

Please sign and share the petition.  Or share your own story.

“Secrecy is unraveling the fabric of the health care system. The dishonor of the deceased is taking its toll. There is only one way out. Count the dead and the injured. Honor them as we would all wish to be honored.”  – Rosemary Gibson

Patient Story

arlene townsend staffing award

Unsafe staffing costs a Florida facility $1 billion

From Trial Magazine, March 2014 issue: Trial Magazine, 3/11/14 VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS Arlene Townsend, 63 suffered a stroke and required 24-hour care. She was admitted to Auburndale Oaks Healthcare Center, a nursing home owned by Trans Healthcare, Inc. In the three years leading up to her death, Townsend suffered numerous fall resulting in broken bones and lacerations, infections, significant weight loss, chronic constipation, skin breakdowns, dehydration, and other problems. She is survived by her adult son. Townsend’s estate sued Trans Healthcare, alleging that it had understaffed the nursing home to increase profits and failed to provide adequate care, including protecting Townsend from falls, ensuring a safe environment, and documenting changes to her condition. The court entered a judgment of liability against the defendant, and the…
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