Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

State Medical Boards Fail to Discipline Doctors with Hospital Actions Against Them

State Medical Boards Fail to Discipline Doctors with Hospital Actions Against Them

March 15, 2011 19:18

Source: Public Citizen

From the press release:

State medical boards have failed to discipline 55 percent of the nation’s doctors who either lost their clinical privileges or had them restricted by the hospitals where they worked, a new Public Citizen analysis of data from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) shows.Of 10,672 physicians listed in the NPDB for having clinical privileges revoked or restricted by hospitals, just 45 percent of them also had one or more licensing actions taken against them by state medical boards. That means 55 percent of them – 5,887 doctors – escaped any licensing action by the state. The study examined the NPDB’s Public Use File from its inception in 1990 to 2009.

“One of two things is happening, and either is alarming,” said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group and overseer of the study. “Either state medical boards are receiving this disturbing information from hospitals but not acting upon it, or much less likely, they are not receiving the information at all. Something is broken and needs to be fixed.”

Hospital disciplinary reports are peer-review actions and, as such, are one of the most valuable sources of information for medical board oversight. Subsequent state medical board action against a physician’s license is a crucial next step to protect patients. Boards have the authority to oversee and even limit the practice of a disciplined physician, which not only yields a more complete record for the purpose of patient safety but also serves to inform other state boards and future employers.

 

March 24, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

Reluctance to Speak up Encourages Medical Errors

Reluctance to Speak up Encourages Medical Errors

From the March 22 2011 Health Day news item by Robert Preidt

HealthDay news imageTUESDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) — Nurses often don’t speak up about incompetent colleagues or when they see fellow health-care workers making mistakes that could harm patients, new research finds.

In recent years, many hospitals have taken steps to reduce medical errors through measures such as checklists, patient handoff protocols, computerized order entry systems and automated medication-dispensing systems.

But the study***, which included 6,500 nurses and nurse managers across the United States, found that too often, nurses don’t alert their colleagues when they see a safety measure being violated…..

 

*** An executive summary of the study may be found here

[For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here]

 


March 24, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic

Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic
Continued public health surveillance of sleep quality, duration, behaviors, and disorders is needed to monitor sleep difficulties and their health impact

Chart: Self-reported Sleep-related Difficulties Among Adults ≥20 Years, 2005-2006 & 2007-2008. 23.2% (49.2 mil) concentrating on things; 18.2% (38.8 mil) remembering things; 13.3% (28.2 mil) working on hobbies; 11.3% (24.0 mil) driving or taking public transportation; 10.5% (22.3 mil) taking care of financial affairs; 8.6% (18.3 mil) performing employed or volunteer work.

Sleep is increasingly recognized as important to public health, with sleep insufficiency linked to motor vehicle crashes, industrial disasters, and medical and other occupational errors.1 Unintentionally falling asleep, nodding off while driving, and having difficulty performing daily tasks because of sleepiness all may contribute to these hazardous outcomes. Persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.1 Sleep insufficiency may be caused by broad scale societal factors such as round-the-clock access to technology and work schedules, but sleep disorders such as insomnia or obstructive sleep apnea also play an important role.1 An estimated 50-70 million US adults have sleep or wakefulness disorder1. Notably, snoring is a major indicator of obstructive sleep apnea….

More Information

CDC Podcasts

From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web page


March 24, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Public Health | Leave a comment

   

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