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Public reporting of patient harm is a potent force

Marshall Allen
Marshall Allen

The Las Vegas Sun series "Do No Harm: Hospital Care in Las Vegas" identified cases of preventable harm that occurred in each of the city's 13 hospitals.

The series was rooted in the belief that people have a right to know about the quality of care provided by their local hospitals. That seems like common sense, but it's considered revolutionary in American health care. Hospitals, nursing homes and doctors are accustomed to operating with little outside accountability for their performance. In most states, you can't find out an individual hospital's rate of deadly infections or injuries to patients. Or, what you can find out is carefully controlled by hospital lobbyists.

In this article for AHCJ, reporter Marshall Allen, now with ProPublica, explains how transparency may have the power to transform health care systems. He examines the myths surrounding transparency and looks at the outcomes of programs that have been instituted. 

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