ProPublica guides reporters to check local boards

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

For those of you who have followed the ongoing investigation ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber have done into nurses and whether states are reporting disciplinary actions, you might have a chance to localize the story.

ProPublica has posted a guide, “Reporting Recipe: How You Can Investigate Your State’s Oversight of Its Nurses and Other Licensed Professionals,” to help reporters and the public check up on what’s happening in their states.

ProPublica editor-in-chief Paul Steiger and managing editor Stephen Engelberg, explain why they are providing the reporters’ techniques and insights:

We hope that others will use the techniques created by Ornstein and Weber to hold local officials accountable. Reporters who look into the local boards that oversee nurses or other health professionals will make new discoveries, some of which will undoubtedly go beyond what we have found. That, in turn, will help others push the story ahead. We hope statehouse reporters, beat reporters, general assignment reporters, bloggers, citizen journalists and others will use this road map.

Use the state-by-state guide prepared by Ornstein (also president of AHCJ’s board of directors) and Weber that shows what information is available to the public in each state and specific things to look for in the records.

They have used the data to identify some states that appear to be  inconsistent in reporting disciplinary actions against medical professionals. If you are covering any of these states, you should probably be looking into the story yourself:

  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinios
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Tennessee
  • Wisconsin
  • West Virginia

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