WSJ: How to Stop Hospitals from Killing Us

AKA WHY A STRONG CIVIL JUSTICE SYSTEM MATTERS

The Wall Street Journal made us sit up and take notice with this headline: “How to Stop Hospitals From Killing Us.”
“Medical errors kill enough people to fill four jumbo jets a week. A surgeon with five simple ways to make health care safer.Medical errors kill enough people to fill four jumbo jets a week. A surgeon with five simple ways to make health care safer.”

When there is a plane crash in the U.S., even a minor one, it makes headlines. There is a thorough federal investigation, and the tragedy often yields important lessons for the aviation industry. Pilots and airlines thus learn how to do their jobs more safely.

The world of American medicine is far deadlier: Medical mistakes kill enough people each week to fill four jumbo jets. But these mistakes go largely unnoticed by the world at large, and the medical community rarely learns from them. The same preventable mistakes are made over and over again, and patients are left in the dark about which hospitals have significantly better (or worse) safety records than their peers.

As doctors, we swear to do no harm. But on the job we soon absorb another unspoken rule: to overlook the mistakes of our colleagues. The problem is vast. U.S. surgeons operate on the wrong body part as often as 40 times a week. Roughly a quarter of all hospitalized patients will be harmed by a medical error of some kind. If medical errors were a disease, they would be the sixth leading cause of death in America—just behind accidents and ahead of Alzheimer’s. The human toll aside, medical errors cost the U.S. health-care system tens of billions a year. Some 20% to 30% of all medications, tests and procedures are unnecessary, according to research done by medical specialists, surveying their own fields. What other industry misses the mark this often?

It does not have to be this way. A new generation of doctors and patients is trying to achieve greater transparency in the health-care system, and new technology makes it more achievable than ever before.

I encountered the disturbing closed-door culture of American medicine on my very first day as a student at one of Harvard Medical School’s prestigious affiliated teaching hospitals. Wearing a new white medical coat that was still creased from its packaging, I walked the halls marveling at the portraits of doctors past and present. On rounds that day, members of my resident team repeatedly referred to one well-known surgeon as “Dr. Hodad.” I hadn’t heard of a surgeon by that name. Finally, I inquired. “Hodad,” it turned out, was a nickname. A fellow student whispered: “It stands for Hands of Death and Destruction.”

Stunned, I soon saw just how scary the works of his hands were. His operating skills were hasty and slipshod, and his patients frequently suffered complications. This was a man who simply should not have been allowed to touch patients. But his bedside manner was impeccable (in fact, I try to emulate it to this day). He was charming. Celebrities requested him for operations. His patients worshiped him. When faced with excessive surgery time and extended hospitalizations, they just chalked up their misfortunes to fate.

Dr. Hodad’s popularity was no aberration. As I rotated through other hospitals during my training, I learned that many hospitals have a “Dr. Hodad” somewhere on staff (sometimes more than one). In a business where reputation is everything, doctors who call out other doctors can be targeted. I’ve seen whistleblowing doctors suddenly assigned to more emergency calls, given fewer resources or simply badmouthed and discredited in retaliation. For me, I knew the ramifications if I sounded the alarm over Dr. Hodad: I’d be called into the hospital chairman’s office, a dread scenario if I ever wanted a job. So, as a rookie, I kept my mouth shut. Like the other trainees, I just told myself that my 120-hour weeks were about surviving to become a surgeon one day, not about fixing medicine’s culture.

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7 Responses to “WSJ: How to Stop Hospitals from Killing Us”
  1. Lino Dial says:

    Doctor Falsifies medical patient record for Mucho Money. Read at : Series of 53 Hospital Falsifications ( Hospital Cover Up of 53 Crimes ). http://www.googleblog.blogspot.com/LinoDial/SuperiorCourt/2012

  2. Lino Dial says:

    Coming soon in Book : Title : Series of 53 Hospital Falsifications ( Hospital Cover Up of 53 Crimes ). Table of Contents :
    I Introduction.
    II Falsification of Hospital Medical Record performed by Physician for money.
    III Falsification of Medical Record to get money from an old woman is so Shameful , Disgusting , Despicable that the hospital concealed it.
    IV More Falsifications , Deceptions , Falsehoods during Hospital investigation
    V Lying under Oath , on the Witness stand performed by Physicians during a Judicial Review Hearing, instantly recorded by Court Transcriber. Witnessed.

  3. Lino Dial says:

    California Governor Jerry Brown investigated the victim instead of the Hospital and Doctors accused of 53 Crimes, when he was Attorney General. Read details at
    California Dept. of Justice Court Order Number : 02 – 2007 – 183327 in the Series of 53 Hospital Falsifications.
    http://www.googleblog.blogspot.com/LinoDial/superiorCourt/2012

    The original Wrongful Criminal Deception was Falsification of Hospital patient medical record performed by a California – licensed practicing Physician to get money from a poor old woman. This was so Shameful , Disgusting and Despicable that the hospital concealed everything.

  4. Lino Dial says:

    Hospital claimed in writing : Judicial Review Hearing was Not Held after it Was Held. Read details at : Hospital Cover Up of 53 Crimes.
    http://www.googleblog.blogspot.com/LinoDial

  5. Lino Dial says:

    Governor Jerry Brown , Solano County Healthcare Frauds, and Superior Court Judge R. M. Harris. Read details : Series of 53 Hospital Falsifications :
    http://www.googleblog.blogspot.com/LinoDial/SuperiorCourt/2012

    EXAMPLES OF CRIMES COVERED UP AND NOT INVESTIGATED :

    1. Dr. Robert S. Blum, a Neurosurgeon, falsified the hospital patient medical record to get money from a poor old woman.

    Dr. Blum was Never asked to see the old lady.

    Examining a person without permission is assault and battery.

    Examining a person without permission is Not legal and Not Ethical.

    Examining a person without permission is shameful , horrible , disgusting ,

    and despicable.

    These actions of Dr. Blum are well – documented in the hospital records ,

    these are undeniable , incontestable , irrefutable , indisputable .

    These are published on the Internet under the subject :

    Series of 53 Hospital Falsifications

    Hospital Cover Up of 53 Crimes.

  6. Lino Dial says:

    February 10, 2013

    FALSIFICATION OF HOSPITAL PATIENT MEDICAL RECORD TO GET MONEY FROM OLD WOMAN IS
    Wrong , Never Good , Never Right , Never Fair , Never Just. Anytime, Anywhere.

    Read details at : Series of 53 Hospital Falsifications and Hospital Cover Up of 53 Crimes : http://www.googleblog.blogspot.com/LinoDial

  7. Lino Dial says:

    February 12, 2013

    SUBJECT : SERIES OF 53 HOSPITAL FALSIFICATIONS(HOSPITAL COVER UP OF 53 CRIMES)

    ESPECIALLY DURING JUDICIAL REVIEW HEARING OR LEGAL PROCEEDING, UNDER OATH , WITH

    EYEWITNESSES AND COURT RECORDS.

    DEFINITIONS :

    Since we are talking about Frauds and Cover Up , it would be nice to start with :

    1. What is Fraud ? ( Falsification ).

    2. What is Cover Up ?

    Source of References :

    1. Google.com

    2. Wikipedia.com

    3. California Criminal Code or Penal Code.

    4. U.S. Code , Violation of Federal Civil Rights Act, Title 18, Section 241

    5. http://www.googleblog.blogspot.com/LinoDial

    In Simple English :

    If any person wants to know about Fraud , Falsity , Falsehood , a Lie , or Deception , the easiest , fastest and best way is to go to Google.com

    One will also learn about what cover up is , the crimes of Fraud , Conspiracy , Perjury , Obstruction of Justice , etc.

    WHAT IS FRAUD ?

    1. FRAUD IS Wrongful Criminal Deception.

    2. FRAUD IS Intentional Deception.

    3. FRAUD IS False Representation of Facts.

    4. FRAUD IS Willful Deliberate Misrepresentation.

    5. FRAUD IS Person or thing to deceive others.

    6. FRAUD IS Intentional Perversion of Truth.

    7. FRAUD IS Willful or Deliberate Act or Failure to Act.

    Source ( References )

    Google.com

    California Criminal Code or Penal Code :

    Title 7 : Of Crimes Against Public Justice.

    Chapter 5 : Section 118 : Perjury.

    Chapter 6 : Section 134 : Fraud.

    Chapter 7 : Section 113 : Falsifying Documents.

    Chapter 8 : Section 182 : Conspiracy.

    U.S. CODE : VIOLATION OF FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS ACT, Title 18, Section 241.

    To be continued.

    The end for now.

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