There are now several billboards across the country that advertise for hospital emergency room care. Many of them have a digital clock attached that tells you the current waiting time. No one questions why they advertise the need for emergency with the identification of wait time. Isn’t that what is called an oxymoron? Instead, most of us just nod our heads and say something like, “Look, only 9 minutes to wait”. It’s like a scoreboard.
Researchers tells us that more than 440,000 people die each year in the United States from preventable medical errors. When Joan Rivers died from a recent simple in office medical procedure, the news services immediately began to report on the investigation of that medical facility. Yet, there is very little reporting on the safety of local hospitals.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently reversed itself and will now begin to release data on hospital mistakes. (USA Today) I don’t expect to see highway signs to tell us how many medical mistakes have been made at a hospital this week, but that sure seems more important than advertising wait times. At least public safety numbers are becoming more available.
Wouldn’t transparency of hospital safety and care seem like a sensible concept? Well, right now there is a movement to get Congress to make laws requiring such reporting. Hospitals are reportedly fighting such disclosures because they claim that the information reported is not reliable. Hmm.
DID YOU KNOW that over 15 billion prizes have been given away in Cracker Jacks boxes? Who doesn’t like a prize!
And our pic o’ day: