The 2005 federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act is a federal law that encourages physicians, pharmacies and hospitals to report medical errors and related information to organizations involved in patient safety by shielding these reports from becoming exposed publically. Now two unrelated cases in another state are questioning the law's reach and the outcome could affect other states, including Rhode Island.
The media has been ablaze of late with news of the ongoing meningitis outbreak spreading across the nation with as many as 16 states affected thus far, including Rhode Island. The outbreak has been traced to a drug compounding pharmacy called New England Compounding Center, and the latest reports claim as many as 300 cases have been reported with almost two dozen deaths associated with the product so far. The problem has already produced a number of lawsuits, including product liability, pharmacy negligence and even two medical malpractice claims filed against clinics that administered the contaminated drugs to two patients.
Injuries and fatalities resulting from medical negligence are both preventable and unacceptable. The consequences of medical malpractice can be devastating, especially considering that malpractice is characterized by failure to administer a level of care that physicians are fully capable of employing.
Recently, an important announcement was made at an annual conference hosted by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The agency's findings could significantly impact fatality rates caused by a certain infection in hospitals.
Approximately 8,000 American men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in advanced stages every year, according to TIME Magazine. Many of these men may have been spared such grim news, had their not been a delayed diagnosis of prostate cancer by their healthcare providers. And yet, government regulators and physicians alike are arguing over whether extensive screening can help bring these startling numbers down significantly.
After completing medical school, new doctors begin their careers in medicine by completing a medical residency in which they work unimaginably grueling hours under the supervision of other licensed physicians. In 2011, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, known as ACGME, changed the restrictions placed upon medical residents' work hours. However, the implications of the new changes have been debated among those in the medical profession.
Rhode Island residents may be interested in a recent Massachusetts health care debate. As members from the Massachusetts House of Representatives continue to discuss a new health care bill that could save the state more than $160 billion, taxpayers elsewhere are wondering why their representatives are not doing the same.
Debates about the safety of full-body scanners at airports and data privacy concerns about electronic medical records have been hot topics in the news in the last few months. But are they the largest technology threats to personal health and patient safety?