The 2020 election.
(Forget for a minute the cynic’s view that all three things might actually be the same.)
We’re forgetting or perhaps just distracted from drawing our readers’ attention to a preventable problem that kills some 200,000 people a year.
Doctors and other health care executives say they can’t prevent every preventable bad outcome. They calculate the return on investment for to achieve safer care. What does the hospital’s chief financial officer’s ledger sheet show for, say, the cost of remodeling bathrooms to prevent hospital falls compared to the cost of treating patients who were injured after falling in a hospital bathroom?
Wouldn’t it be great to know what health care officials consider the blue line, over which the numbers justify reducing harm but below which the response is: “We did everything in our power. We’re sorry for your loss.”
Read thought cloud: “Rare event … Unavoidable … a horrendoma.”
Michael Millenson, long a student, researcher and heavily published author of topics related to the patient safety movement, gives AHCJ members a wide-ranging history of health providers’ intermittent but gradually expanding attention to this costly source of patient pain and harm.
But those efforts are far from enough. And journalists have a responsibility to bring attention back to this critical topic.
He urges health journalists to look in their own communities and explore the efforts of medical providers toward getting to a safer culture.