Bob’s Books (and Articles and Websites)

Here are a few of my books:

Understanding Patient Safety (McGraw-Hill’s Lange Series, 2008): A lively, up-to-date primer on patient safety, full of case vignettes, tools, and other key resources.

Internal Bleeding: The Truth Behind America’s Terrifying Epidemic of Medical Mistakes (“Updated Version”, Rugged Land, 2005): A bestselling book that uses dramatic cases of medical errors to illustrate the key principles of patient safety. Written with Kaveh Shojania.

Hospital Medicine (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2005): A medical textbook for those who care for hospitalized patients. Co-edited by Lee Goldman and Harry Hollander.

Making Health Care Safer: A Critical Analysis of Patient Safety Practices. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ Publication No. 01-EO58: The first review of the evidence behind safety practices, it catalyzed future evidence-based safety initiatives such as the National Quality Forum’s list of “Safe Practices.” My co-editors are Kaveh Shojania, Kathy McDonald, and Brad Duncan.

The Fragile Coalition: Science, Politics and AIDS (St. Martin’s Press, 1991): I was the program director of the 1990 International Conference on AIDS, and the book chronicles the conference – part-scientific confab, part-political convention, and part-circus – and what it taught me about the intersection of science and activism.

And my top dozen articles:

Wachter RM, Luce JM, Hearst N, Lo B. Decisions about resuscitation: Inequities among patients with different diseases but similar prognoses. Annals of Internal Medicine 1989; 111:525-32.

Wachter RM. AIDS, activism, and the politics of health. New England Journal of Medicine 1992; 326:128-33.

Wachter RM, Goldman L. The emerging role of “hospitalists” in the American health care system. New England Journal of Medicine 1996; 335:514-7.

Wachter RM, Katz P, Showstack J, Bindman AB, Goldman L. Reorganizing an academic medical service:  Impact on cost, quality, patient satisfaction, and education. Journal of the American Medical Association 1998; 279:1560-5.

Wachter RM and Goldman L. The hospitalist movement 5 years later. Journal of the American Medical Association 2002; 282:487-94.

Wachter RM. Hospitalists in the United States: Mission accomplished or work-in-progress. New England Journal of Medicine 2004; 350:1935-6.

Wachter RM. The end of the beginning: Patient safety five years after ‘To Err is Human.Health Affairs, November 30, 2004 (web exclusive).

Wachter RM. The “dis-location” of US medicine: the implications of medical outsourcing. New England Journal of Medicine 2006; 354:662-3.

Wachter RM.  Expected and unanticipated consequences of the quality and information technology revolutions. Journal of the American Medical Association 2006; 295:2780-3.

Pronovost PJ, Miller M, Wachter RM. Tracking progress in patient safety: an elusive target. Journal of the American Medical Association 2006; 296:696-9.

Wachter RM, Pronovost PJ. Balancing ‘no blame’ and accountability in patient safety. New England Journal of Medicine 2009; 361:1401-6.

Wachter RM. Patient safety at ten: Unmistakable progress, troubling gapsHealth Affairs 2010;29:165-73.

And my websites:

I’m privileged to serve as editor for the federal government’s two leading patient safety websites (together, they receive two million unique visits a year):

AHRQ WebM&M, a case-based journal featuring lively cases and commentaries on medical mistakes as well as perspective articles and interviews with newsmakers in the field.

AHRQ Patient Safety Network (PSNet), a weekly chronicle of research, news, and tools in patient safety, along with the world’s most robust and searchable patient safety library.

And finally, the website of my wonderful division, UCSF’s Division of Hospital Medicine.

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