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Interesting: Physican Error

30 May

I read today in the DNT a really interesting article, a continual story about one of the highest paid neurosurgeons who lost his job at St. Luke’s Hospital. I thought it said yesterday that he made 1.3 million dollars, but don’t quote me on that. I am not sure. I knw it was more than 1 million dollars.  He was a  surgeon who lost his job due to law suits. I didn’t realize you could just move to another state and get employed. (Isn’t that what sex offenders try to do as well? I remember one doing that many years ago.)

In two decades it states 282 doctors licenced to practice in Minnesota have settled malpractice cases that accused them of causing serious injury or death to their patients. I wonder how many are still practicing.

The question I have is,  ”Why does the National Practitioner Data Bank (a federal databank that tracks malpractice cases) not allow the information to be public knowledge?” Does the government agency think we are stupid? Why not hang out all the laundry to dry clean?  Now if that was a teacher, it’s would be different story.  We should not have different standards for different professions.

Transparency is important. Lives are important. Education and training, continually is important.

Thirteen doctors in Minnesota had disciplinary action taken against them. It makes one wonder how many never made it into the data system. We especially know this when some complaints have never seen the light of day. They were buried in paper work and sloughed off,  as though the patient or relative knows nothing.

I understand that some people are sue happy, but these must be pretty serious cases.  We hear about it from friends, relatives, and colleagues.

What made me look twice was that in 2005 the Washington Post reported 54% of the cases were never reported that had disciplinary action. I wonder what the stats are in 2011.

Later it states that the AMA claims that the information is flawed. Does the AMA protect physicians? Each state seems to have physician organizations.

We have all know of relatives or friends where there was error and nothing was done. In some cases the patient and family was made to feel like the guilty party for reporting the serious errors.

We all know have patients who have had the wrong breast cancer diagnosis by a pathologist, and it was later corrected as well. 

Would you want to know the complaints against a physician who is treating your family member? I know I do.

In the hospital it seems like the nurses are really your care giver, and they are paid a lot less money.

Laws need to be changed at the state and federal levels.

The Duluth News Tribune has some charts in the paper about malpractice and doctor discipline in MN that resulted in death, life long care, major and significant injury, the types of adverse actions levied against physicians, and the actions taken against them.  I had no idea there were so any citations and actions.

I think back at how one physician told me once, “You put yourself at risk every time you have surgery.” Personally I have always had good luck. I know others who are not here to tell their stories.

Did you know that physicans are given a life time license? Why can’t teachers get life time licences any more?

National Practioner Data, federal government websites:

http://www.npdb-hipdb.hrsa.gov/

http://www.npdb-hrsa.gov/resources/reports/

There is also information on the MN Department of Health website.

Physician Malpractice:

http://www.state.mn.us/portal/mn/jsp/home.do?agency=Bmp

 

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