Stories about patient safety


Medical errors tough to admit, but doctors should apologize to patients

By Manoj Jain, Special to The Washington Post on May 28, 2013, at 10:19 a.m.
In 2007, I published a story in my local paper in which I confessed to having made a medical error years earlier. I’d mistakenly prescribed an antibiotic for a patient whose chart indicated an allergy to the drug. Thankfully, the story had a happy ending. My patient recovered and took …

Hospital workers tuning out alarms on medical devices, group warns

By Alvin Tran, Kaiser Health News on April 16, 2013, at 10:48 a.m.
Got alarm fatigue? Some doctors and nurses do, according to The Joint Commission, a nonprofit hospital accrediting organization. In their latest Sentinel Event Alert, issued April 8, the commission highlighted the dangers that result when doctors and other health professionals develop “alarm fatigue” or become desensitized and immune to alarm …

Death rates rise at many remote hospitals, study finds

By Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News on April 03, 2013, at 9:28 a.m.
For 15 years, Congress has bestowed special privileges to some small remote hospitals, usually in rural areas, to help them stay afloat. Medicare pays them more than it pays most hospitals and exempts them from financial pressure to operate efficiently and requirements to reveal how their patients fare. Nearly one …

Hospital report cards, designed to enlighten, often confuse

By Jordan Rau, Kaiser Health News on March 18, 2013, at 9:33 a.m.
How good a hospital is St. Mary Mercy Livonia Hospital? Depends on whom you ask. The Leapfrog Group, a respected nonprofit that promotes patient safety, gave an “A” to this Michigan hospital. The company Healthgrades named it one of America’s best 50 hospitals. But the Joint Commission, a nonprofit organization …

Hospitals crack down on tirades by angry doctors

By Sandra G. Boodman, The Washington Post on March 05, 2013, at 9:15 a.m.
At a critical point in a complex abdominal operation, a surgeon was handed a device that didn’t work because it had been loaded incorrectly by a surgical technician. Furious that she couldn’t use it, the surgeon slammed it down, accidentally breaking the technician’s finger. “I felt pushed beyond my limits,” …

Missed diagnoses common in the doctor’s office

Reuters on Feb. 26, 2013, at 9:42 a.m.
Missed or wrong diagnoses are common in primary care and may put some patients at risk of serious complications, according to a U.S. study. Mistakes in surgery and medication prescribing have been at the center of patient safety efforts, but researchers whose findings appeared in JAMA Internal Medicine said less …

Doctors say excessive workloads put hospital patients at risk

By Shannon Pettypiece, Bloomberg News on Jan. 29, 2013, at 9:42 a.m.
NEW YORK — Almost half of hospital doctors said they routinely see more patients than they can safely manage, leading in some cases to unneeded tests, medication errors and deaths, according to a survey by researchers at Johns Hopkins University. Seven percent of 506 hospital-based physicians surveyed said their heavy …

Surgical study cites objects left in patients, other errors that should ‘never’ occur

By Sarah Kliff, The Washington Post on Dec. 21, 2012, at 8:57 a.m.
They sound like some of the worst mistakes a surgeon could make: Leaving an instrument inside a patient. Operating on the wrong body part — or the wrong person. They’re aptly named “never” events, the errors that should never, ever occur. Turns out, however, these “never” events happen quite frequently, …

Five rural Maine hospitals ranked among 13 best in nation by group

By Lindsay Tice, Sun Journal on Dec. 05, 2012, at 9:17 a.m.
A national group has deemed 13 rural hospitals to be the best in the country. Of the 13, five are in Maine. “Maine has done something that’s really amazing,” said Missy Danforth, senior director for hospital ratings for the Leapfrog Group, a Washington D.C.-based organization that tracks health care safety, …

Houlton hospital, nurses fail to work out contract

By Jen Lynds on Dec. 09, 2010, at 10:43 p.m.
A fourth negotiation session Thursday evening, this one overseen by a federal mediator, failed to resolve a contract dispute between about 100 unionized nurses and administrators at Houlton Regional Hospital. A fifth meeting has been scheduled for January even though an extension of the existing contract will …
Nurses picket in the front of Eastern Maine Medical Center along State Street in Bangor Monday morning.

EMMC nurses strike in front of hospital

By Meg Haskell on Nov. 22, 2010, at 8:14 a.m.
BANGOR,  Maine — With hundreds of nurses picketing outside in a cold rain for increased staff, administrators at Eastern Maine Medical Center said Monday that a three-day nursing work stoppage that began Saturday morning and is scheduled to wrap up at 7 Tuesday morning has proceeded smoothly and without any …
Nurses from Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor prepare picket signs in the basement of the Bangor Motor Inn on Saturday. The group has been locked out of the State Street hospital and will picket the campus on Monday.

EMMC nurses set to start Monday strike

By Nok-Noi Ricker on Nov. 21, 2010, at 9:37 p.m.
BANGOR | By the time most people finish their first first cup of coffee Monday, nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center will already be picketing outside the hospital. The nurses are holding a one-day strike, beginning at 7 a.m., to push for changes in patient-to-nurse staffing levels and other …

EMMC nurses reject contract deal, plan 1-day strike

By Dawn Gagnon on Nov. 04, 2010, at 6:11 p.m.
BANGOR — Unionized nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center have rejected the hospital’s “last, best and final” contract offer and now are gearing up for a one-day strike to protest what they contend is a serious understaffing problem at EMMC. The announcement came after two days of voting on Wednesday …

Presque Isle nurses authorize strike if contract conditions not met

By Jen Lynds on Sept. 24, 2010, at 4:55 p.m.
Nurses at The Aroostook Medical Center have voted to authorize a strike if a growing dispute over safe staffing at the Academy Street facility is not met by early next month …
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business
ADVERTISEMENT | Grow your business