Time to Write Congress re: The Checklist Debacle

By  |  February 15, 2008 | 

Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write, blog, and rant about the OHRP’s horrific decision to shut down the Hopkins-Michigan ICU checklist study, a decision that threatens the future of quality improvement and safety efforts in American healthcare. Today, the major hospital-based societies – representing over 100,000 clinicians and leaders – sent a powerful letter to HHS Secretary Leavitt, asking that he stop the madness.

(For background info on this case of massive regulatory hyperplasia, see my prior blogs here and here.)

The letter, co-signed by the Society of Hospital Medicine, the Society of Critical Care Medicine, the American Thoracic Society, the American Association of Critical Care Nurses, and the American College of Chest Physicians, is here. And by clicking here, you’ll be taken to SHM’s spiffy Legislative Action Center, which makes it easy to write to your Senator and Representative.

I’m betting that the OHRP thinks that – because this is just about patient welfare and not about our economic self-interest – they can wait us out and we’ll let it go. Let’s prove ’em wrong.
 

About the Author:

Robert M. Wachter, MD is Professor and Interim Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where he holds the Lynne and Marc Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine. He is also Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine. He has published 250 articles and 6 books in the fields of quality, safety, and health policy. He coined the term hospitalist” in a 1996 New England Journal of Medicine article and is past-president of the Society of Hospital Medicine. He is generally considered the academic leader of the hospitalist movement, the fastest growing specialty in the history of modern medicine. He is also a national leader in the fields of patient safety and healthcare quality. He is editor of AHRQ WebM&M, a case-based patient safety journal on the Web, and AHRQ Patient Safety Network, the leading federal patient safety portal. Together, the sites receive nearly one million unique visits each year. He received one of the 2004 John M. Eisenberg Awards, the nation’s top honor in patient safety and quality. He has been selected as one of the 50 most influential physician-executives in the U.S. by Modern Healthcare magazine for the past eight years, the only academic physician to achieve this distinction; in 2015 he was #1 on the list. He is a former chair of the American Board of Internal Medicine, and has served on the healthcare advisory boards of several companies, including Google. His 2015 book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine’s Computer Age, was a New York Times science bestseller.

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One Comment

  1. Bob Wachter February 16, 2008 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    You can save your letters on this particular issue (although more than 100 people did write). On February 16, the OHRP reversed itself, as described here.

    Thanks to all for supporting the cause. We were instrumental in changing the OHRP policy; the change will save lives.

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