Editor’s Note: There was a full page ad in the Des Moines Register yesterday, so I thought I’d check it out…

Looks like it’s a spinoff from Consumer Union, the publishers of Consumer Reports.

Safe Patient Project:

When deadly medical errors are kept secret, the underlying problems that cause them don’t get fixed. These errors,including hospital infections, kill more than 100,000 Americans each year, and cost us $51 billion. Yet they aren’t required to be tracked or made public. By bringing medical errors to light, effective action can be taken to prevent them.

Consider the case of actor Dennis Quaid. His newborn twins almost died when they were injected with a massive dose of blood thinner because the adult version of the drug looked similar to the infant version and was put in the wrong bin. Quaid went public, and the hospital installed a computerized medication system to confirm the right drug and dose before it’s given.

A decade ago the Institute of Medicine set national goals to cut medical errors in half by 2004, to reduce the 1.5 million medication errors that occur each year, and to ensure that doctors and nurses are competent in patient safety. Ten years later, we don’t know if we’re any better off. Errors aren’t regularly made public, and there are few national standards to prevent them.

It’s time we got serious about stopping preventable medical errors. Help us get 50,000 signatures on our petition to make error rates public so we know what to do to prevent them in the first place.

“Too Many Visits to the ED Get Man Arrested”

From the TriState Homepage:

Imagine going to jail for visiting the hospital too many times.

It happened Friday night to one Evansville man who took five trips to Deaconess Hospital’s emergency room in just a few hours.

According to a Police Report, Jackie Lawson, checked himself in for back pain, each time asking for pain medication.

When doctors refused to prescribe him any medication on the fourth visit, Lawson became arguementative.

An officer advised him to leave the premises. A short time later, Lawson returned. The officer arrested him for trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Alcoa woman, found naked, later accused of dousing officers with urine

From The DailyTimes:

At 12:10 p.m. Sunday, three Maryville police officers responded to the report of a disturbance at the Blount Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, according to a Maryville police report. ER staff told Maryville officers that Alcoa officers brought a woman into the hospital, but she had later ran from the emergency room. Maryville officers discovered the warrants that Alcoa officers had filed on Holder.

“We began a search of the hospital and located her hiding behind an ATM machine,” a Maryville officer reported. “She was wearing a T-shirt and was naked from the waist down. ”

Officers reported that Holder was catheterized and did not want to come out from behind the ATM machine. When officers took her by each arm to escort her back to the emergency room, she became angry and said “she was going to sling (urine) on us,” the report said.

“She then reached down and grabbed the catheter and began to sling it back and forth, spraying (two officers) with urine,” an officer reported, adding that they arrested Holder at that time.

Holder was charged by Maryville police officers with two counts of reckless endangerment and was charged by Alcoa police officers with indecent exposure and public intoxication. She was being held in lieu of bonds totaling $10,775 pending a 9 a.m. June 4 hearing in Blount County General Sessions Court.

EMTALA Violation Plan of Corrective Action Rejected

From the Sacremento Business Journal:

More than four months after a Roseville man walked away from the emergency room at Sutter Roseville Medical Center and hanged himself in a wooded area 500 yards away, the hospital has yet to come up with a correction plan that satisfies federal regulators.

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rejected Sutter’s latest plan Tuesday and gave the hospital until Wednesday to submit an acceptable plan to fix problems in the emergency department or face the loss of crucial federal funding June 30.

“We found the plan to be unacceptable,” regional CMS spokesman Jack Cheevers wrote in an e-mail. “We’re notifying the hospital informally, by telephone, since we believe the defects can be fixed with relative ease.”