- The Wall of Silence, by Rosemary Gibson and Janardan Prasad Singh, 2003.
This book tells the stories of a number of patients who have been the victims of medical errors and examines why these errors happen in the U.S. healthcare system.
- The Medical Malpractice Myth, by Tom Baker, 2005.
If you have ever heard that “frivolous lawsuits” are to blame for the sad state of the U.S. healthcare system, please read this book. This deeply researched book shows that we do not have a medical malpractice litigation crisis, we have a medical malpractice crisis. You can read an excerpt here.
- Unaccountable, by Marty Makary, 2012.
The author is an oncology surgeon and patient safety researcher at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. This book describes the lack of transparency and accountability within the U.S. hospital system, and his hope that a new generation of doctors can change this culture. I review the book in this post.
- The Patient’s Checklist, by Elizabeth Bailey, 2012.
The goal of this book is to help keep you organized and safe. It is organized as ten checklists of things you should do before, during, and after a hospital stay.
- To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, published by the Institute of Medicine, 1999.
This report brought attention to the prevalence of medical errors in the U.S.
- Collaborative for Accountability and Improvement, a national organization based at the University of Washington to promote adoption of Communication and Resolution Programs
- Safe Patient Project, a project of Consumers Union (the policy and action division of Consumer Reports). You can download their report, To Err is Human—To Delay is Deadly, which examines the lack of progress in the decade since the Institute of Medicine published “To Err is Human”.
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which has tips on helping to prevent medical errors in your own care.
- Citizens for Patient Safety, a grassroots organization that began in Colorado after 22-year-old Michael Skolnik had unnecessary brain surgery that led to his death three years later. The work of this organization, led by Patty Skolnik, led to the Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act in Colorado, which increases the amount of information about Colorado physicians that is available to the public.
- Mastroianni AC, Mello MM, Sommer S, Hardy M, Gallagher TH. The flaws in state “apology” and “disclosure” laws dilute their intended impact on malpractice suits. Health Affaird (Millwood). 2010; 29(9):1611-9. (view abstract in PubMed)
This paper analyzed existing state disclosure and apology laws and provides best-practice recommendations. Much of my family’s bill is based on these recommendations.
Information about filing complaints
If you have concerns about the quality or safety of healthcare you have received, there is a list of oversight agencies that receive complaints at the end of this blog post.