The aviation industry has used black boxes to help determine what caused an accident. Some surgeons have now been employing similar technology in the operating room to monitor and improve performance and communication among surgical teams with an eye toward better patient safety. Journalists could find interesting stories by interviewing operating teams at hospitals using this technology to find out what they have learned.
I’ve written in previous posts about what to look for in COVID-19 vaccine trials and red flags to monitor. The two most important outcomes in vaccine trials are the vaccine’s safety and its efficacy. Recall that efficacy is different from effectiveness: efficacy refers to how well the vaccine prevents infection in the clinical trial, with effectiveness referring to how well it prevents infection in the real world with a broader and more diverse population. Continue reading
Despite a recent GAO report detailing persistent infection control violations at nursing homes throughout the United States, many states are waiving liability for these facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To date, at least 20 states have issued executive orders or enacted legislation temporarily absolving long-term care and assisted living facilities unless “gross negligence” or “willful misconduct” can be proven. Continue reading
So you’re working away — perhaps at home — on a story about vaping or high prescription costs or results from a new clinical trial, not paying much attention to the news. All of a sudden your editor calls to tell you that winds have stoked a grass fire that’s now raging and headed your way. Your editor wants you to jump on it. All the other reporters are out covering other blazes or emergencies.
But you’re a health reporter, not a fire reporter! What do you know about covering this stuff? And oh, by the way, an hour later, you learn you’re going to have to evacuate your family and precious belongings from your own home as well. Continue reading
Lisa McGiffert is best known by journalist, health provider organizations and regulatory agencies, as the former director of the Consumers Union Safe Patient Project, an effort sponsored by Consumer Reports magazine.
In my years of reporting on health, she always seemed to know exactly what was going on in my state regarding quality of care improvement efforts. If she didn’t, she knew who I should call. Continue reading