HomenewsreleaseCalifornia Department of Public Health › ABC Report Underscores Need For Better Public Disclosure, Audit of Medical Errors At Hospitals

News Release

ABC Report Underscores Need For Better Public Disclosure, Audit of Medical Errors At Hospitals

Contact Info
Contact:

Carmen Balber & Michael Kapp

SANTA MONICA, CA: Following an ABC News 10 investigation into over a thousand adverse events reported in 42 northern Central Valley hospitals, Consumer Watchdog reiterated its call on Governor Brown and state health regulators to audit hospitals for failures to report many instances of patient harm and for full public disclosure of these events.

“…ABC News 10 reported that it took two months and a Public Records Act request to receive fewer than 30 reports from the Department of Public Health. The Department of Public Health refused to answer the news station’s questions. We draw your attention to this recent investigation to reiterate that it should not be this difficult for a news station, let alone the public, to obtain information about safety incidents at California hospitals,” Consumer Watchdog wrote Governor Brown.

Watch the ABC News 10 investigative report here: http://www.news10.net/longform/news/investigations/watchdog/2014/11/25/hospital-safety-and-tyrone-lees-story/19471561/

Read today's letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltr_hospital_adverse_events_reporting_dph_11-25-14.pdf

"This new report recounted several serious stories of patient abuse or neglect, including one hospital where a former CEO is facing criminal charges for failing to report the alleged abuse of a patient," said Carmen Balber with Consumer Watchdog. "This is exactly the type of widespread failure to disclose we warned about in our letter last week. Patients deserve to know when something goes wrong at our hospitals. Urgent action by the Governor and the Department of Public Health is needed to protect the public."

Last week, NBC Bay Area released an investigative report that found thousands of adverse events in California hospitals in the past four years. Consumer Watchdog warned the Governor and the Department of Public Health that far more adverse events go unreported. This was confirmed in the ABC News 10 story.

Watch the NBC Bay Area investigative report here: http://www.nbcbayarea.com/investigations/CA-Hospitals-Make-Hundreds-of-Errors-Every-Year-Public-is-Unaware-283261121.html

Read the original letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltr_hospital_adverse_events_reporting_dph_11-20-14.pdf

Both letters were sent to Governor Jerry Brown, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Diane Dooley, and Dr. Ron Chapman, Director of the California Department of Public Health.

- 30 -