Two recent events highlight the need for easy access to information about a hospital’s record of mistakes and violation of standards.
The Florida Supreme Court ruled on Thursday March 6th that patients have a right to see records on past mistakes made by hospitals and health care providers, including very old records, and that laws limiting access to such records are unconstitutional.
In more disturbing news, the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada violated hygiene protocols and, consequently, six cases of hepatitis C have been traced back to them. The linked editorial argues that detailed, publicly available information on medical centers and health care providers–standards, inspection results, past errors–is necessary for public trust in medical institutions.
Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued a warning that the Nevada incident may not be an isolated incident. It is likely that these safety problems exist in other clinics all over the country.