I wrote a column posted on Huffington Post about the ninth annual Patient Safety Day on Saturday, July 25.
Here’s an excerpt:
As Congress tinkers with health care reform, lawmakers should listen to what a special group of advocates is trying to tell them. There is no better day to listen than Saturday, July 25, the ninth annual Patient Safety Day.
These patient safety advocates are laypeople who have turned their own tragic losses — of husbands, wives, sons and daughters — into personal crusades to make our hospitals and clinics cleaner, safer places so that others won’t have to go through the pain they have experienced. And one demand that many of them express is that the medical industry become more open and honest in dealing with its tragic mistakes — so that errors can become learning experiences.
Candlelight vigils are taking place across the country on Saturday to mark this date. The advocates who started this quiet annual commemoration do not have, for the most part, medical or nursing degrees, but they know patients and their families can make valuable contributions to improving the quality and safety of the health care system. I learned many of their stories while researching my book on how patients can protect themselves and get the best medical care by becoming active participants in their own care. These heroes of patient safety include people like …
[continue reading by clicking here]