CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
November 2011

The CTCPS Board

members Susan Manganello, Gus Velez and John Torello attended a two day  Consumers Union Safe Patient Summit of activists from around the country.  The Summit was held at their Yonkers, New York national headquarters and attendees shared their efforts in their own states - some amazing work is being done across the country.  We talked about the growing consumer movement and demanding quality healthcare. 

 There was Rachel Carson - who helped raise awareness of our environment, Ralph Nader who worked until cars were far safer and now there are people like us  across the country demanding that healthcare be just that - and not heathcare harm.

final cu summit 

The Velez Family Fund has challenged us to raise $5,000.  Your contriubtion will be matched dollar for dollar. Just in case you missed our letter - it is not too late.  Go to our website and donate  today doubling your generosity with a gift from the Velez Family Fund.




and remember your donation is fully tax deductible.

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Have you experienced harm from a medical device such an artifical knee or hip?  We need your stories.


Despite recall after recall of minimally tested products, the industry is saying that this oversight is costing jobs and with our current economy, whether factual or not, this fear can cause passage of bad public policy.   There will be a major campaign this year to pull back regulation and oversight and the industries are gearing up - and we need to also.  We know that medical devices like pharmaceuticals need to be safe.  What we do not want is to have these products cost lives and unneeded suffering.

Dear Members,

How often have we heard when healthcare harm occurs, "To Err is Human"
But they leave off the rest of this very famous quotation.

 The full Benjamin Franklin gem of a quotation is -

To err is human,
To repent divine 
To persist is devilish.

Thank you Benjamin Franklin. 

Refusing to reform delivery systems of care when they are causing harm - in Mr. Franklin's words - is devilish.

Happy Halloween.


U.S. Health Care System Gets Low Grade From Commonwealth Fund

The U.S. health care system received an overall grade of 64 out of 100 for key measures of performance in a recent report by the Commonwealth Fund.


The report, which was based mostly on data from 2007 to 2009, found that the federal health reform law would help improve scores in some of the categories, including access and affordability.


Report Findings

The Commonwealth Fund gave the U.S. health system a low score of 53 out of 100 for efficiency.


  • 25% of Medicare beneficiaries had a prescription for a "potentially inappropriate drug";
  • About 33% of children ages 10 to 17 were overweight or obese;
  •  The average national infant mortality rate was about 35% higher than rates in top-performing states;

  • About 40% of working-age adults in 2010 had problems paying medical bills or medical debt, up 6% from 2005;
  •  44% of adults did not have a primary care provider in 2008 and only half of those said they received all recommended preventive care; and
  • In 2003 and 2009, 20% of Medicare beneficiaries who were hospitalized for certain conditions or procedures were readmitted within 30 days (MedPage Today, 10/18).

    The report found improvements in certain areas compared with previous years, such as:
  • Increased public reporting of quality data;
  • More hospitals following recommended protocols to prevent surgical complications;
  • About 17% of adults smoked in 2010, compared with 21% in 2004; and
  • More U.S. residents were controlling their high blood pressure (MedPage Today, 10/18).

    And patients and consumers should get credit for the demand to increase public reporting.













     The Mayo Clinic website is an amazing resource for patients.  There are no financial conflicts of interest behind that information - rare indeed in what could be considered a health industrial complex.


    The Health Manager might be something each patient should begin today - with all information under one "roof."  While the industry has been slow to adopt accessible electronic records, it does not mean we need to be.