Category Archives: Patient safety

Explaining Biogen’s controversial ‘MCI’ advertising to your audience

About Kerry Dooley Young and Liz Seegert

Kerry Dooley Young is an independent journalist and AHCJ's core topic leader on patient safety. Liz Seegert, based in New York City, is AHCJ’s topic leader on aging.

New marketing campaigns about forgetfulness and distraction could lead people to seek the costly Aduhelm drug for Alzheimer’s disease even if they haven’t been diagnosed with the condition, several experts have warned.

By working to expand the market of people seeking treatment for mild cognitive impairment,  Biogen could needlessly expose many people to a drug with known risk but as yet unproven potential benefit, some researchers said. (See “Do we all have Alzheimer’s? Drug makers might want you to think so,” Adriane Fugh-Berman and Patricia Bencivenga of Georgetown University, Baltimore Sun, July 16, and “‘When Memory Fades’: Misinformation about Alzheimer’s disease and Aduhelm must be limited,” Madhav Thambisetty of Johns Hopkins University, STAT, July 21.) Continue reading

New federal mandate should allow freer flow of medical information

About Kerry Dooley Young and Karen Blum

Kerry Dooley Young is an independent journalist and AHCJ's core topic leader on patient safety. Karen Blum is an independent journalist and AHCJ’s core topic leader on health IT.

OpenNotesPeter Elias, M.D., talking with a patient in a clinical visit. He shares his progress notes.

April 5 marked the official start of a federal mandate meant to allow consumers easier access to their medical records while also barring organizations from profiting by restricting access to this information.

The mandate states the eight types of clinical notes that must be shared, including:

  • Consultation notes
  • Discharge summary notes
  • History and physical information
  • Imaging narratives
  • Laboratory and pathology reports
  • Procedure and progress notes.

Continue reading

New Alzheimer’s drug draws attention from federal, independent groups

About Kerry Dooley Young and Joseph Burns

Kerry Dooley Young is an independent journalist and AHCJ's core topic leader on patient safety. Joseph Burns, a Massachusetts-based independent journalist, is AHCJ’s topic leader on health insurance.

Group of Alzeimer's patients on a walk with caregivers

Photo: Global Panorama via FlickrGroup of Alzeimer’s patients on a walk with caregivers

Liz Seegert, AHCJ’s topic leader on aging, contributed to this article.

Federal policy experts and the influential Institute for Clinical Effectiveness (ICER) have announced separate discussions this month of the Biogen drug aducanumab (Aduhelm) to treat Alzheimer’s disease.

On July 15, ICER will ask one of its expert panels, the California Technology Assessment Forum, to consider the evidence available for aducanumab’s benefits and risks and vote on a series of questions about its effectiveness and value. ICER’s reports have clout because insurers use them to help determine how to cover drugs and medical treatments. The independent group earlier released a report critical of the evidence presented to date about aducanumab. Biogen, which told AHCJ it disagrees with ICER’s opinion of its drug, plans to have a representative speak at the meeting. Continue reading

IHI’s Patient Safety Congress examines virtual care, racism and workplace violence

About Kerry Dooley Young

Kerry Dooley Young (@kdooleyyoung) is AHCJ's core topic leader on patient safety. She has written extensively about the Food and Drug Administration, medical research, health policy and quality measurements. Her work has appeared in Medscape Medical News, Congressional Quarterly/CQ Roll Call and Bloomberg News.

Donald Berwick

Donald Berwick speaks at Health Journalism 2011 as CMS administrator.

Leaders in efforts to prevent accidental harm to patients will meet this week to consider challenges presented by the expansion of virtual care as well as the need to address racism and workplace violence in medicine. These are among the topics planned at the Patient Safety Congress held by the nonprofit Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). 

The conference will also delve into efforts to put into effect an initiative known as the “Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety” unveiled last year. The plan was the work of 27 organizations including federal agencies, safety groups and experts and patient and family advocates. It builds on the Institute of Medicine’s seminal 1999 report, “To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System,” which triggered major efforts to reduce cases of preventable harm, particularly in areas such as healthcare-acquired conditions. Continue reading

AHCJ’s new patient safety core topic leader to bring resources to colleagues

About Jeff Porter

Jeff Porter is the director of education for AHCJ and plays a lead role in planning conferences, workshops and other training events. He also leads the organization's data collection and data instruction efforts.

Kerry Dooley Young

Kerry Dooley Young

Kerry Dooley Young, an independent journalist based in Washington, D.C., will lead AHCJ’s core topic on patient safety.

She will be guiding AHCJ members to the resources they need to cover the many aspects of patient safety through blog posts, tip sheets, articles and other material. The core topic area of healthjournalism.org features a glossary, a more lengthy explanation of key concepts, shared wisdom from other reporters, story ideas and more.

She will write tip sheets and background briefs, ask other journalists to share their experiences, host webcasts and curate lists of resources for journalists. Her blog posts for Covering Health will recognize important reporting on patient safety topics, including overtreatment. Continue reading