CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
Quality Healthcare is  Right April 3, 2009
In This Issue
Thank you Senator McDonald!
What in the world is AMSA?
Limiting pharma

Thank you Senator McDonald!

Lesley Bennet from Stamford filed a complaint with the Departnent of Health over a very serious medical error that happened to her daughter while hospitalized. The DPH said that the standard of care had been met, but Lesley knew better and she contacted Senator McDonald, her state senator who also chairs the very powerful Judiciary Committee.  Senator McDonald introduced a bill, Senate Bill 1091

To: (1) Permit a patient, or the patient's representative, to obtain information about the status of the patient's complaint against a health care provider filed with the Department of Public Health or a regulatory board within the department, and (2) allow the patient, or the patient's representative, to provide testimony regarding such complaint prior to a final decision on the complaint.
What a difference this would make.  Faith Jackson submitted poignant testimony.  Her doctor told the DPH that Faith merely had a scab on her foot following her surgery.  But Faith had picture of a gaping infected hole in that foot - even the physical therapists urged her to get another opinon.
Bill Tyra testified to his personal experience trying to work with a DPH but was shut out of the process.
We will keep you posted but it is wonderful to see action taken by citizens and elected officials when an injustice is voiced.

and don't forget, contributions are always appreicated - either by mail or go one line at www.ctcps.org
Do you have friends that should be receiving our email?  Just let us know. 
Nurse Case Scenerio
 So very many good things are happening.  Recently we have emphasized our legislative initiatives but our advocacy grows more effectively as our educational outreach expands.
Susan Manganello, our Vice President of Education will be providing us with a monthly column, Nurse Case Scenerio.  We know that having patients and their advocates participate in their healthcare process leads to better outcomes.  Especially challenging is the hospital experience.  Our guide will empower you and your family members.    Watch for our announcemnt in June.
 Facebook?  Are you interested?  At first I was alarmed but Carrie Simon from West Hartford is encouraging us to develop our social networking through Facebook.  I need to hear what you think of having a special place for our members to go and link in with each other -you could post your own articles, link us with important sources of information that you use and help us grow.   Please email me at [email protected] and I will organize a conference call later this month for those interested.
AARP has over 600,000 members in our state. We are working with them on our pharmaceutical legislation and hope to expand our partnership with them as we move forward.  Soon, one out of five CT residents will be a senior!
PHARM FREE: AMSA's campaign to end conflicts of interests and these medical students are joining our growing coalition to address a very serious problem -conflicts of interest
Medical Students will be holding a lobby day later this month.
AMSA promotes the conscientious, explicit and judicious use of the current best evidence in clinical care.  Information used by physicians in making clinical decisions should be comprehensive, transparent in its methodology and results, and independent from institutions and individuals with a financial interest in physician prescribing.  Physicians should not seek education from industry marketing efforts, whether they are in the form of advertisements, sales pitches from representatives, or sponsored lectures by paid physicians.
Know your target audience.
Limiting Pharma
The Journal of the American Medical Association may be fighting to keep internal argument over conflicts of interest a secret, but in public, it's advocating strict limits on industry funding for medical associations.
A set of proposals published this week in JAMA call for associations--such as the American Society of Clinical Oncologists--to refuse general budget support from drug and device companies. Currently, many specialty physicians' groups are partly funded by industry. Companies also sponsor conferences, physician fellowships and buy ads in the societies' journals. The proposed guidelines would allow associations to continue to accept industry advertising and to allow industry-sponsored booths at conferences.
The key distinction, the article's lead author said, is that ads and booths are clearly presenting a company's point of view. "You can read the ads, skip the ads, but there's nothing hidden," David J. Rothman, a professor at the College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, told the Wall Street Journal. "What I don't like is when I can't tell if what I'm hearing is science, or marketing in the guise of science."
But others disagree. The American College of Cardiology's chief told the paper that industry funding has "zero impact on the content of any program here." And PhRMA said that the guidelines could limit the information doctors receive. "It's important to realize that [doctors] have their own sense of integrity," a PhRMA spokeswoman protested.