Archive for the ‘Hospital Safety’ Category

Worse than a Disease Diagnosis – This Mistake Can Land You in the E.R.

By Dr. Mercola

In 1776, Dr. Benjamin Rush, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, foretold a grim scenario that has now taken shape right before our eyes. He said:

“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution the time will come when medicine will organize itself into an undercover dictatorship. To restrict the art of healing to doctors and deny equal privileges to others will constitute the Bastille of medical science. All such laws are un-American and despotic.”

Now, in 2012, we are very much facing this reality, as we live in an era where our medical freedom is increasingly under attack, and “healing” has been replaced with “treating” disease, most often with toxic chemicals and surgery. This drug-driven medical paradigm not only depends on the sacrifice and, some might say, torture, of animals in medical research, but also in many ways uses humans as sacrificial lambs.

Modern Medical Care is a Leading Cause of Death

There were nearly 4.6 million drug-related visits to emergency roomsi in the United States in 2009, with more than half due to adverse reactions to prescription medications – most of which were being taken exactly as prescribedii. The fact of the matter is, as echoed by a study released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)iii, it is a mistake to assume there’s no risk in prescribed medicines! As Sayer Ji writes on GreenMedInfo.comiv:

“The “medicines” themselves are often devoid of intrinsic value, being nothing more than rebranded and re-purposed chemicals, intended (though all too often failing) to be administered in sub-lethal concentrations. Indeed, many of these chemicals are too toxic to be legally released into the environment, and should never be administered intentionally to a human who is already sick. You need look no farther than a typical drug package insert to find proof that the side effects of most drugs far outnumber their purported beneficial effects.

These chemicals, in fact, are so highly leveraged against their true value (or lack thereof), that they can sell for as much as 500,000% percent from cost! Only medical/pharmaceutical and financial institutions (e.g. Federal Reserve) are legally empowered to generate the illusion that they are creating something of value out of nothing of value, on this scale.”

Medical care is actually one of the leading causes of death in the U.S., with medical errors, adverse drug reactions, and hospital-acquired infectionsv killing an unacceptable number of Americans each and every day! Drug-related ER visits jumped by more than half between 2004 and 2008vi, stirring health officials to look for ways to stop what has become a near-epidemic that often ends in deathvii.

And when you consider that 2.7 million of those visitsviii involved prescriptions for largely preventable health issues, you can’t help but wonder why we have strayed so far from true health care in lieu of health treatments.

You may be tempted to point your finger at your physician. After all, he or she is on the “front lines” doing most of the prescribing and advising. But whether or not doctors succeed in upholding the Hippocratic Oath — the promise to Do No Harm — is not always entirely in their own hands.

The conventional medical system is simply not designed to give them that freedom. It’s VITAL that you understand that regardless of their personal opinions, many times they’re simply not allowed to offer you any other alternatives than what the “standard protocol” demands. As written on GreenMedInfo.comix:

“Within our present dominant medical system, healing has not simply been forgotten but intentionally exorcized as it represents the antithesis of perpetual profitability which requires the incurability of the human body. Were the truth be told, and the body’s self-regenerative capabilities acknowledged, the entire superstructure of drug-based medicine and hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue it generates annually, would crumble overnight.”

Are You Intentionally Being Misled about Your Body’s Innate Healing Abilities?

This issue runs much deeper than your physician’s office. The entire medical system as it currently stands has been quite carefully orchestrated to make you believe that drugs, vaccinations, screening tests, and surgery are what is required to be well, while an assault has been launched against natural strategies and supplements that have proven vital to well-being for centuries.

For instance, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has launched a full-fledged war against the sale of raw milk, a substance that provides many natural beneficial and healing properties, even though between 1999 and 2010 there was an average of only 42 cases of illness per year attributed to raw milk, and that includes both “confirmed” and “presumed” cases. Meanwhile, they have allowed livestock producers to continue to add low doses of antibiotics to animal feed for growth promotion, even though this practice is undeniably linked to the spread of deadly antibiotic-resistant disease!

They have also issued new Draft Guidance on New Dietary Ingredients that threatens to remove some of your most commonly used supplements from the market, all while approving drugs, prescribed by doctors every day, that kill over 125,000 Americans a year.

They are but one government agency that is so thoroughly enmeshed in the drug-medical paradigm that they are utterly unable to protect you. The American Medical Association (AMA) has maintained a decades-long battle against “alternative” healing traditions, dating back to the 1920s and arguably even earlier. The courts eventually ruled in favor of the chiropractors in 1987, finding the AMA guilty of a conspiracy to take down the chiropractic profession, but their battle has continued on anyway.

According to Naturopathy Digest, the AMA and other medical groups justify their opposition to natural medicine, a primary principle of which is supporting your body’s own innate healing potential, on the basis of three areas of concernx:

  • Quality of patient care
  • Patient safety
  • Quality of education of medical practitioners

As the article so eloquently points out, none of these arguments hold up, and most are based on medical and pharmaceutical industry propaganda. If they were TRULY concerned about patient care and safety, they would not be targeting natural medicine, which has an incredibly low incidence of adverse consequences and proven successes, but instead going after their own allopathic medical practices that are leaving a trail of death and destruction.

Other medical associations whose claims that they exist for the betterment of public health are entirely questionable include the following:

  • American Dental Association (ADA): Continues to support the use of mercury fillings and demonizes biological dentists who oppose the use of mercury in dentistry; continues to support fluoridation, in spite of the evidence it does more harm than good.
  • American Cancer Society (ACS): This charity has close ties to the mammography industry, the cancer drug industry, and the pesticide industry; has rampant conflicts of interest; consistently promotes drugs and screening procedures while ignoring environmental causes of cancer.
  • National Cancer Institute (NCI): Has spent billions of taxpayer dollars promoting treatments while ignoring strategies for preventing cancer; abundant ties to the cancer drug industry (for more information, read Samuel Epstein’s new book, National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest)xi
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Claiming to be protecting your children, the AAP is largely funded by vaccine manufacturers but refuses to disclose just how much money it gets from them; partners with Congress to protect pediatricians and drug companies from liability for vaccine injuries, while preventing you from getting truthful vaccine information.

However, even the government is not at the top of the totem pole when it comes to this attack on your ability to access natural therapies and obtain optimal health. continuesxii:

“Although the American Medical Association (AMA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) behave as if they are at the top of this pyramid of power relations, they serve far lower on the hierarchy. While the government of the United States and American corporate lobbying groups may appear to be behind the FDA’s shameless pandering to the interests of the drug companies, transnational corporations and organizations — and a hand full of elite governing them — are in fact pulling the strings.”

Natural Therapies are Increasingly Under Attack, or Intentionally Suppressed

Did you know a cream containing eggplant extract, known as BEC and BEC5, appears to eliminate most non-melanoma skin cancers in several weeks time? Or that studies conducted so far show significant potential for the use of cannabis in the prevention and treatment of a wide range of health conditions, including cancer?

Have you heard about Dr. Nick Gonzalez, who has had remarkable success treating patients with some of the most lethal forms of cancer that conventional medicine cannot effectively address using a three-pronged nutritional approach?

There’s a good chance you answered “no” to these questions, and that’s not a coincidence. Information like this is not easy to come by in the mainstream press or from most conventional health care authorities, which is one of the primary reasons why I started this site. Alternatives to drugs and surgery are out there, but unless there is a profit to be had, you aren’t likely to hear about them. In fact, the system is set up to make sure that you don’t.

One of the prime examples of this is vitamin D.

Over 800 studies already show that vitamin D could have cancer-prevention and/or treatment possibilities. But the problem is that it’s a natural substance that can’t be patented as a simple supplement, meaning there’s no real revenue in it, compared to a prescription brand drug. That’s why many drug studies involving vitamins of any kind hinge on how the FDA defines drugs and supplements.

A drug is defined as a product meant for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of a diseasexiii. A supplement is defined as a product that is meant to simply “supplement” or “enhance” a normal diet within the daily allowances recommended by the FDAxiv. Retailers who sell supplements are not allowed to tell you that vitamin D can possibly “prevent, mitigate or cure” cancer without having the FDA accuse them of selling a drug that hasn’t been approved through the proper FDA process.

That process of getting a drug to market costs an average $359 millionxv and takes nearly 10 years – with a good portion of the money going directly to the FDA through user feesxvi. Over the years these fees have become a major funding source for the FDA. What drug companies get in return is faster FDA reviews and drug approvals.

As a result, a kind of you-scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-yours scenario has ensued, with drug companies maintaining major leverage over the FDA when it comes to protecting their revenue sources, including making sure the $60 billion-a-year supplement business doesn’t get in the way of drug salesxvii. The history of FDA laws and regulations on file at Harvard Law School, explains how years ago an FDA task force long ago established this policy…

“… to ensure that the presence of dietary supplements on the market does not act as a disincentive to drug development.”

What Can You do to Support Real Health and Healing?

For starters, recognize that health does not come from a pill … and no disease is caused by a “drug or vaccine deficiency.” As written on GreenMedInfo.comxviii:

” … is there any greater absurdity than a medical model that treats the symptoms of disease with sub-lethal dosages of toxic chemicals and in which there is no attempt to uncover, understand or remove the causes of those imbalances?

After all, what disease has ever been found to be caused by a lack of a drug?

Is acid reflux caused by a lack of proton-pump inhibitors?

Is heart disease caused by a lack of statin drugs?

Is osteoporosis caused by a lack of Fosamax?

Is cancer caused by a lack of chemotherapy?

Is depression caused by a lack of Paxil?

Absolutely not! Then why would anyone consider it sound practice to use potentially toxic chemicals as a first-line treatment for conditions that are not caused by a lack of a chemical? To the contrary many diseases are caused exactly by culminative exposures to chemicals that not unlike drugs are biologically alien to the body, i.e we are treating poisoning with poisons! Can we dignify this approach by calling it medicine? Or, is it more accurately described as a form of sorcery?”

Until real systemic change takes place, your best health strategy is quite simply to employ and maintain a naturally healthy lifestyle that will optimize your body’s innate healing abilities and minimize your need for the drug companies’ latest concoctions. We are, however, working hard to change the system and help protect your health freedoms from corrupt influences like the drug industry; you can learn more about our newest initiative toward this end, Health Liberty, now.

It is, of course, of paramount importance to take control of your health so you can stay well naturally, without the use of drugs or even frequent conventional medical care. If you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will not need medications in the first place. This encompasses several principles, including:

  • Proper Food Choices

For a comprehensive guide on which foods to eat and which to avoid, see my nutrition plan. Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole, unprocessed foods (vegetables, meats, raw dairy, nuts, and so forth) that come from healthy, sustainable, local sources, such as a small organic farm not far from your home.

For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to have raw food as a good portion of your diet. Personally, I aim to eat about 80-85 percent of my food raw, including raw eggs and humanely raised organic animal products that have not been raised on a CAFO (confined animal feeding operation).

Nearly as important as knowing which foods to eat more of is knowing which foods to avoid, and topping the list is fructose. Sugar, and fructose in particular, contributes to multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of accelerated aging.

  • Comprehensive Exercise Program, including High-Intensity Exercise like Peak Fitness

Even if you’re eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including not only core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching but also high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity, interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. I’ve discussed the importance of Peak Fitness for your health on numerous occasions, so for more information please review this previous article.

  • Stress Reduction and Positive Thinking

You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease — from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer. Effective coping mechanisms are a major longevity-promoting factor in part because stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day. Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.

  • Proper Sun Exposure to Optimize Vitamin D

We have long known that it is best to get your vitamin D from sun exposure, and if at all possible, I strongly urge you to make sure you’re getting out in the sun on a daily basis or if this is not an option use a safe tanning bed.

Just keep in mind that it’s really best to get ALL your vitamin D from the sun. It appears that vitamin D plays a crucial role in sulfur metabolismxix and when you swallow it orally it may not have the same benefit as getting it from the sun.

  • Take High Quality Animal-Based Omega-3 Fats

Animal-based omega-3 fat is a strong factor in helping people live longer, and many experts believe that it is likely the predominant reason why the Japanese are the longest lived people on the planet.

  • Avoid as Many Chemicals, Toxins, and Pollutants as Possible

This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.


  • i InfoFacts: Drug-Related Hospital Emergency Room Visits, National Institute on Drug Abuse, May 2011.
  • ii Highlights of the 2009 Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) Findings on Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits, The DAWN Report, December 28, 2010.
  • iii Emergency Department Visits Involving Adverse Reactions to Medications among Older Adults, The Dawn Report, February 24, 2011. (PDF)
  • iv Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?,, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
  • v New Study Shows Sepsis and Pneumonia Caused by Hospital-acquired Infections Kill 48,000 Patients, EurekAlert, February 22, 2010. (Press release)
  • vi Rx Side Effects Causing More Hospitalizations, American Medical News, May 2, 2011: Kevin B. O’Reilly.
  • vii Prescription Drugs More Overdoses in U.S. Than Heroin and Cocaine, Bloomberg, July 8, 2011: Oliver Renick.
  • viii Rx Side Effects Causing More Hospitalizations, American Medical News, May 2, 2011: Kevin B. O’Reilly.
  • ix Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?,, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
  • x AMA Declares War on Naturopathic Medicine, Patient Safety and Freedom of Choice in Health Care, Naturopathy Digest, 2006: Alex Vasquez.
  • xi National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest,, May 17, 2011: Samuel S. Epstein, MD.
  • xii Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?,, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
  • xiii Cosmetics, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, July 8, 2002.
  • xiv Drugs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • xv What Does It Cost to Bring a New Drug to Market?, Answers Encyclopedia.
  • xvi How Long Does Drug Development Take?,, January 15, 2009.
  • xvii Dietary Supplement Industry Contributes Billion to National Economy, Natural Products Foundation, April 5, 2010.
  • xviii Has Drug-Driven Medicine Become A Form of Human Sacrifice?,, December 29, 2011: Sayer Ji.
  • xix Critical Role of Vitamin D in Sulfate Homeostasis: Regulation of the Sodium-Sulfate Cotransporter by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, October 2004: 287(4); E744-E749, Merry J.G. Bolt, et al.

What Hospitals Won’t Tell You – Vital Strategies that Could Save Your Life

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Posted 01 Apr 2012 — by James Street
Category Finance and Politics of cancer research and treatment, Hospital Safety, Iatragenic
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By Dr. Mercola

Dr. Andrew Saul has over 35 years of experience in natural health education, and holds a number of certificates for teaching clinical nutrition.

He’s a recipient of the Citizens for Health Outstanding Health Freedom Activist Award, and was named as one of the seven natural health pioneers by Psychology Today.

Dr. Saul is currently editor-in-chief of The Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, and has authored over 100 publications and seven books, including Hospitals and Health: Your Orthomolecular Guide to a Shorter Hospital Stayi, which is the topic of this interview.

He is perhaps most prominently known for his appearance in the film Food Matters.

Hospitals and Health

Dr. Saul co-authored Hospitals and Health with Dr. Steve Hickey, and Dr. Abram Hoffer, the famous Canadian psychiatrist who, in 1953, demonstrated that high doses of niacin could cure schizophrenia and other similar mental disorders.

“Dr. Hoffer, in his study of biochemistry… noted that over the years there had been attempts to treat psychiatric illnesses by communities that didn’t have hospitals. One was the Quaker community. And the Quakers, Dr. Hoffer said, found that if they took the mentally ill; put them in a nice house, gave them good food, and gave them compassionate care, they had a 50 percent cure rate,” Dr. Saul says.

“Dr. Hoffer commented that drugs have about 10 percent cure rate. He was thinking that drugs might actually be going in the wrong direction, and hospitals give a lot of drugs… When people go into the hospital, they’re going to have problems… Statistically, there are so many errors in hospitals that the average works out to one error per patient per day at the minimum. If you’re in a hospital for four days, you can expect four medical errors in that time.”

According to the 2011 Health Grades Hospital Quality in America  noticed doctors or hospitalStudyii, the incidence rate of medical harm occurring in the United States is estimated to be over 40,000 harmful and/or lethal errors each and EVERY day.

Hospitals have become particularly notorious for spreading lethal infections. In the United States, more than 2 million people are affected by hospital-acquired infections each year, and a whopping 100,000 people die as a result. According to the Health Grades report, analysis of approximately 40 million Medicare patients’ records from 2007 through 2009 showed that 1 in 9 patients developed such hospital-acquired infections! The saddest part is, most of these cases could likely have been easily prevented with better infection control in hospitals—simple things such as doctors and nurses washing their hands between each patient, for example.

Hospitals, home and nursing home care account for over one-third of the $2.6 trillion the United States spends for health care.iii This is TRIPLE what we surrender to drug companies. It wouldn’t be so bad if we actually received major benefits for this investment, but, as Dr. Saul’s book reveals, this oftentimes is not the case…

Hospital Nutrition and Supplements

However, there are solutions; it is possible to make hospitals better, and the book addresses this in depth. Nutrition is a key element. As Dr. Saul points out, hospital food is almost universally associated with bad food. Most of it is highly processed, but you can sometimes get better fare simply by asking for a vegetarian meal. He also explains why it can be helpful to get a simple note from your primary care physician if you take vitamins and want to continue taking them while in the hospital. And, your rights, should the staff insist you can’t take them while staying there.

“If you want to take vitamins in the hospital, go ahead and do it,” Dr. Saul says. “On the other hand, if the hospital, your physician, or surgeon, can explain to you why, for a particular procedure or a particular medication, you cannot take the vitamin, then you can accommodate that request if they are highly specific. Usually what happens is they’ll say,

“You can’t take any vitamins.” But that’s just not true. Everyone should take vitamin C before they go to the hospital. They should take vitamin C before they go to the dentist for less infection, less pain, quicker healing time, and less bleeding. The same is true with surgery. People who take high doses of vitamin C are much less likely to have blood clotting in healing, inflammation, and other complications that, unfortunately, are fairly familiar among surgical staff.

If someone says, “You can’t take vitamin E because we’re going to give you Warfarin (Coumadin),” that’s a reasonable point. But then… there is evidence that if you take the vitamin E, you don’t need Warfarin.

I had a client once who had this exact dilemma. He had thrombophlebitis, and he was on Warfarin. He wanted to take vitamin E instead… He said, “Well, what should I do?” I said, “The best thing to do is to gradually decrease the drug with your doctor’s cooperation while increasing the vitamin – again, with your doctor’s cooperation. Talk to your doctor. The doctor that put you on the drugs should be the one that you’ll talk to about the drugs.”… He said, “I don’t want to talk to the doctor about this.” He actually was afraid to talk to his doctor. He did not want the confrontation. What he did instead was he just started taking the vitamin E. Eventually, his clotting time was extended to the point where the doctor said,

“What’s going on?”

… Too much Warfarin causes extended bleeding. Too much vitamin E can also cause slightly extended bleeding, but not out of the normal range. I said to him… “You got to talk to your doctor. If your doctor’s asking what’s going on, [then] tell him. He’ll take you off the Coumadin.” The fellow talked to the doctor, and the doctor took him off the vitamin E…”

Unfortunately, that’s a typical example of “standard care.” Dr. Saul, on the other hand, believes one of the first things doctors need to do is to make sure each patient has a multivitamin with each meal. The same goes for inmates in prisons, and senior citizens in nursing homes.

“Diets in institutions are terrible,” Dr. Saul says. “We can change that right away. People have to refuse the crap that they put on the plate and demand fresh, whole, unprocessed food. If enough people do that, the hospitals will do it. This is something that we can do. Vitamins, multivitamin supplements we can do…

The next thing that you can do is demand to be addressed by your title. Do not let them call you by your first name. You are a Mr., Ms., Mrs., or a Dr. This is a small point seemingly, but it can actually change your care.

Another thing that people need to do when they go into the hospital, and I got this from a nurse herself, she said, “Bring a guard.

I would never let a family member go into the hospital alone. Make absolutely sure that a friend or family member is with them 24 hours a day.” What does this do? It makes sure that mistakes aren’t made, or if mistakes are made, you’ve got a witness. At the very least, the person is going to have some company. That’s something we can do. Not everybody has an advocate. Not everybody has family members available, but this is still a doable situation. What else can we do about hospitals? We can avoid them…”

Knowing How to Play “the Hospital Game” Can Help Keep You Alive

One of the reasons I am so passionate about sharing the information on this site about healthy eating, exercise, and stress management with you is because it can help keep you OUT of the hospital. But if you do have to go there, you need to know how to play the game.

“Dr. Steve Hickey is an authority on game theory, cybernetics, and all kinds of mathematical stuff…” Dr. Saul says. “Dr. Hickey wrote a chapter in Hospitals and Health specifically on the “hospital game” and how to play it. He… demonstrates that the outcome depends on you… If you just go in… [they] take you to bed and you keep quiet, you’re what Dr. Hoffer calls a “pious patient.”

Pious patients tend to get killed.

… The lowest estimate makes hospitals one of the top 10 causes of deaths in the United States… The highest estimate makes hospital and drugs the number one cause of death in the United States…

We can fix this problem. We can make a change. But the only way it’s going to happen is if you know how to play the game. That’s why Hospitals and Health – I think – will really come in handy. Abraham Hoffer practiced for 55 years. He ran hospitals. He had so much experience, and what does it still boil down to? Common sense – good food, good care, as few drugs as possible, and taking charge of your own health.”

Why Avoiding Elective Procedures During July May Be a Lifesaving Choice

What’s my personal recommendation when it comes to hospital stays? Naturally, my number one suggestion is to avoid hospitals unless it’s an absolute emergency and you need life-saving medical attention. In such cases, it’s worth taking Dr. Saul’s recommendation to bring a personal advocate; a relative or friend who can speak up for you and ensure you’re given proper care if you can’t do so yourself.

If you’re having an elective medical procedure done, remember that this gives you greater leeway and personal choice—use it!

Many believe training hospitals will provide them with the latest and greatest care, but they can actually be more dangerous. As a general rule, avoid elective surgeries and procedures during the month of July because this is when brand new residents begin their training. According to a 2010 report in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, lethal medication errors consistently spike by about 10 percent each July, particularly in teaching hospitals, due to the inexperience of new residents.iv Also be cautious of weekends.

“Sometimes, your best bet for a hospital is a relatively small local one,” Dr. Saul advises.

Who has the MOST Power During Your Hospital Stay?

“The most important thing to remember is this: the hospital power structure,” Dr. Saul says. “No matter what hospital you go in… Maybe you’ve got to be in a teaching hospital. Maybe you don’t have a lot of choices. Maybe you are there because of financial issues. Maybe it’s because of geographical issues. Maybe it’s because it was an emergency, and you woke up in the hospital. Maybe you have to be there on a weekend…

The question is, “Are you going to walk out the front door, or be wheeled out the back?”

Now, here’s what people need to do. They need to understand that when they are faced with hospitalization, the most powerful person in the most entire hospital system is the patient.

The system works on the assumption that the patient will not claim that power… You might have set that up with a document. If you have a power of attorney, a living will, or other types of paperwork or someone is responsible, then we know who’s responsible. But let’s say that it’s just an ordinary situation—the patient has the most power.

A patient can say, “No. Do not touch me.” And they can’t. If they do, it’s assault, and you can call the police. Now, they might say, “Well, on your way in, you signed this form.”

You can unsign it. You can revoke your permission. Just because somebody has permission to do one thing, it doesn’t mean that they have the permission to do everything. There’s no such thing as a situation that you cannot reverse. If you can make amendments to the U.S. Constitution, you can change your mind about your own personal healthcare. It concerns your very life. You don’t want to cry wolf for no reason, but the patient has the potential to put a stop to anything; absolutely anything.

If the patient doesn’t know that, if they’re not conscious, or if they just don’t have the moxie to do it, the next most powerful person is the spouse. The spouse has enormous influence and can do almost as much as the patient. If the patient is incapacitated, the spouse can probably do much more than the patient.

If there is no spouse present, the next most powerful people in the system are the children of the patient… You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned doctors or hospital administrators once. That’s because they don’t have the power. They really don’t. They just want you to think that you do. It is an illusion that they run the place. The answer is – you do. They’re offering you products and services, and they’re trying to get you to accept them without question.

… [W]hen you go to the hospital, bring along a black Sharpie pen, and cross out anything that you don’t like in the contract. Put big giant X’s through entire clauses and pages, and do not sign it. And when they say, “We’re not going to admit you,” you say, “Please put it in writing that you refuse to admit me.” What do you think your lawyers are going to do with that? They have to [admit you]. They absolutely have to…

It’s a game, and you can win it. But you can’t win it if you don’t know the rules. And basically, they don’t tell you the rules. In Hospitals and Health, we do.”

The book, Hospitals and Health is available through any online bookseller, including Amazon, or you can order an autographed copy at Knowing how to prevent disease so you can avoid hospitals in the first place is clearly your best bet. But knowing what to do to make your hospital stay as safe and healing as possible is equally important. For the inside scoop, I highly recommend reading the book.


Harm in Hospitals Seldom Reported, OIG Says

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Posted 07 Jan 2012 — by James Street
Category Ethics of Science, Finance and Politics of cancer research and treatment, Hospital Safety, Legal

By Emily P. Walker, Washington Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: January 06, 2012

WASHINGTON — Most hospital errors that result in harm to Medicare patients go unreported, and even when they are, hospitals rarely change the way they operate in order to prevent similar errors in the future, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

The OIG found that hospital staff did not report 86% of adverse events, whether errors or accidents. Hospital administrators interviewed for the report suggested that doctors and nurses are unclear about what constitutes a reportable adverse event.

For their report, investigators selected 420 adverse events from an earlier OIG review on hospital errors and had physicians review the medical records on those cases.

The doctors identified 302 events of preventable harm to patients, 128 of which were considered serious, including a death from septic shock and four deaths from excessive bleeding after administration of anticoagulants.

To determine which of the 302 events were actually reported in hospital error-reporting systems, the OIG requested error reporting data from the hospitals where the selected adverse events occurred.

The OIG investigators also interviewed hospital administrators about the specific events and why they weren’t reported. All of the hospitals involved had reporting systems in place and said they expected staff to report errors that resulted in patient harm, but none had a standardized list of which events should be reported.

The administrators told OIG investigators that the most common reasons that errors went unreported were that no clear error occurred leading up to the adverse event, that the event was thought to be a common side effect to the treatment, and that the event occurred so frequently that it was considered too common to report.

For instance, only one of 17 catheter-related infections — a common event in Medicare beneficiaries — was reported.

In his conclusion, report author Inspector General Daniel Levinson wrote that it is crucial that the adverse event reporting systems do what they’re supposed to and said that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) are in the best position to provide hospitals with guidance and incentives to better use reporting systems.

Specifically, AHRQ and CMS should create and promote an adverse event list to be used by hospitals, other healthcare providers, and medical and nursing schools. The list would detail the full range of patient harm that can occur in hospitals so hospital workers would have a clearer idea of what events should be reported.

CMS and AHRQ agreed with the recommendations, according to OIG.

Levinson also recommended that CMS provide guidance to accreditors on how to better assess hospital efforts to track and analyze adverse events. As a condition of participation in Medicare, hospitals must go through an accreditation process that proves they are tracking events that result in patients being harmed.

The OIG report on which the current analysis was based was done in 2010. It found that nearly 14% of hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries experienced a preventable adverse event that resulted in extended hospitalization, required life-sustaining intervention, caused permanent disability, or resulted in death.

An additional 13.5% experienced events that required some sort of additional treatment, but were not life-threatening, the 2010 report showed.

The idea of doing a better job of tracking patient harm as a result of medical treatment gained popularity after the Institute of Medicine’s 1999 landmark report “To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System.” That report argued that hospitals can only address patient safety problems if adverse events are identified and adequately described.

EUROECHO: Heart Drugs May Block Chemo Damage

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Posted 14 Dec 2011 — by James Street
Category Adriamycin, Anthracycline, Anthracylines, doxorubicin, doxorubicin conjugate INNO-206, Hospital Safety, Statin
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EUROECHO: Heart Drugs May Block Chemo Damage
By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
December 12, 2011
MedPage Today Action Points

    • This study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
  • In this small study, adding an angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor and a statin to the chemotherapy regimen appeared to reduce the severity of anthracycline-induced cardiotoxicity as estimated by Doppler echocardiography.
BUDAPEST — The combination of statin plus ACE inhibitor could be cardioprotective for cancer patients who need anthracycline chemotherapy, a small prospective study suggested.

Several measures of left ventricular diastolic function deteriorated significantly less with prophylactic rosuvastatin (Crestor) and lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril) given during standard anthracycline-based chemotherapy for a variety of cancer types, Liliana Radulescu, MD, of the University of Medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, and colleagues found.

The effect was minimal for left ventricular systolic function, which dropped similarly in both groups, they reported here at the European Association of Echocardiography meeting.

“The findings are encouraging but must be confirmed in larger numbers of patients,” commented Patricia Pellikka, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and president-elect of the American Society of Echocardiography.

Whether the effect can be confirmed or not, comprehensive echocardiographic assessment of both systolic and diastolic function is key in cancer patients who are receiving cardiotoxic chemotherapy, she told MedPage Today.

Anthracyclines are well-known for their long-term cardiovascular toxicity, which is worsened by combing with trastuzumab (Herceptin).

Radulescu’s group tried to reduce that risk for a group of 26 patients receiving epirubicin (Ellence) doses up to 500 mg/m2 for various types of cancer by prophylactic administration of 10 mg lisinopril and 10 mg rosuvastatin.

The prospective study included another 31 age- and gender-matched cancer patients as controls not getting the heart drugs.

Doppler echocardiography assessed cardiac function before and after chemotherapy. None of the patients had any prior cardiovascular disease.

Left ventricular ejection fraction reflecting systolic function dropped in both groups — from 62.73% to 58.22% with cardioprotective therapy and from 63.89% to 57.51% without it, which was not significantly different between groups (P=0.21).

But the story was different for left ventricular diastolic function.

The group that got a statin plus ACE inhibitor saw significantly less decrease in left ventricular contractility and less increase in atrial peak filling.

Other diastolic function advantages for the cardioprotective therapy versus control groups for change from baseline to post-chemotherapy were:

  • Less reduction in the ratio of early to late diastolic filling velocity (from 1.6 to 0.98 versus from 1.42 to 1.08, P<0.02)
  • Less prolongation of pressure half time of the E wave regarding ventricular filling (from 60.73 to 74.96 msec versus from 58.90 to 83.37,P<0.02)
  • Less prolongation of the E wave deceleration time (from 234.96 to 254.08 msec versus 220.84 to 264.73, P<0.01)
  • Numerically but not significantly less prolongation of isovolumetric relaxation time (from 46.69 to 69.21 msec versus from 54.58 to 81.47, P<0.2)

The researchers acknowledged that further studies with larger numbers of patients are needed.

Animal studies have pointed to oxidative stress and inflammation as the potential cause of cardiac damage from anthracyclines, noted coauthor Andreea Parv, MD, also of the University of Medicine in Cluj-Napoca.

“Both ACE inhibitors and statins are known to play an important role in reducing oxidative stress and inflammation at the level of the heart muscle cells,” she said in a press release.

The researchers provided no information on conflicts of interest.

Primary source: European Association of Echocardiography
Source reference:
Radulescu L, et al “Cardioprotective role of lisinopril and rosuvastatin in the prevention of anthracycline induced cardiotoxicity” EuroEcho2011; Abstract P316.

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The Great Cancer Hoax Part II: The Brilliant Cure the FDA Tried Their Best to Shut Down…

Posted By Dr. Mercola | September 19 2011 | 264,550 views

In 1971, US President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer; the National Cancer Act was enacted and the national cancer program was born. An impressive $1.6 billion dollars were allocated to the program for the first three years alone, and its director even reported directly to the President.

So, after 40 years, how has the war on cancer fared?

One would think that after four decades of fervent research and countless billions of dollars spent, we would have this dreadful disease under control. Just think of the rapid explosion of ideas and innovations within other technology areas. Your cell phone is now more powerful than the largest supercomputers of that time, for example.

Alas, the war on cancer has been a MASSIVE failure, and the reasons for this failure are clearly explained in the featured documentary Cut, Poison, Burn.

Greed bordering on the grotesque has been allowed to rule the game here, and the primary beneficiaries of this 40-year long “war” are pharmaceutical companies and the tremendously profitable cancer industry as a whole, including so-called “non-profit” organizations like the American Cancer Society.

Rather than decreasing, cancer rates have increased during the last 40 years, and now surpass heart disease as the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 45 to 74. According to statistics detailed in the film, one in three women, and one in two men will now get some form of cancer in their lifetime!

Health Freedom is Severely Restricted when You have Cancer

The film follows the struggles of Jim and Donna Navarro, whose young son was diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. The conventional treatment methods, which included potent chemotherapy drugs and radiation, offered virtually no hope. Even if their son survived the treatment, side effects could include hearing loss, brain damage, cumulative reduction in IQ and other cancers, just to name a few.

The couple decided to refuse conventional treatment for their son and to seek alternatives, but like so many others, they soon realized that under the current medical paradigm, they were not free to seek whatever treatment they saw fit for their child… Yes indeed, the hard fought for freedoms that America’s forefathers sacrificed their life for seem to have gradually eroded to this sad state of affairs.

Their doctor filed charges of child abuse and child neglect against them. Still, they fought for their right to choose; to opt to not have their son suffer needlessly from a treatment that was just as likely to kill their child as the disease itself, while making him suffer terribly in the process. They had discovered Dr. Burzynski’s treatment facility in Texas, but the FDA blocked them from getting his as of yet unapproved treatment…

The Navarro’s story is a heartbreaking but important one, so I hope you will take the time to watch the film in its entirety, to understand what could happen to you, should you ever be placed in a similar circumstance. Cut Poison Burn, is available to view for free. However, if you want to help the Navarro’s pay off Thomas’ medical bills, I urge you to purchase a copy of the film. It’s being sold on a ‘value-priced’ basis, meaning you can download a copy of the film for $1.99 and up, depending on how much you’re willing to pay. You can also purchase a DVD copy for $10. A percentage of the proceeds from the film will go to cancer organizations that donate 100 percent of their proceeds to families fighting cancer—not the American Cancer Society.

It’s important to realize that the cancer industry today is based on wealth, not health. And the federal government and the American Cancer Society are actually making matters worse, not better.

Killing the Cancer Before the Patient Dies from Treatment = Success…

People who face a lethal disease will usually try just about anything to survive. The brutal combination of fear and bullying by the medical establishment to submit to ‘standard care’ is part of the foundation that keeps the cancer industry going, because standard approved care is not cheap. The average cost per patient, from diagnosis to death, is $350,000, but can run as high as $1 million.

Since the war on cancer began in 1971, more than 14.8 million Americans have died from some form of cancer. Fifteen hundred people die every day from cancer, and 565,000 people died in 2009 alone.

This amounts to Big Business.

And although there have been some advances in the treatment of certain types of cancer, we’ve made virtually no progress at all over the last century in the treatment of the most common forms of cancer, despite spending billions of dollars in research each year.

Cancer can basically be viewed as cell growth that is out of bioregulatory control. The conventional medical approach is to “search and destroy” cancer cells using surgery, extremely potent toxins and dangerous radiation. And for all the boasting about new and improved drugs, current cancer treatments are actually rather archaic, and are nothing more than the treatment of symptoms using extremely expensive and toxic means.

As stated in the film, as long as the cancer is killed before the patient dies, the treatment is largely heralded as a success…

Most of the conventional treatments still considered standard care were created during a time when knowledge of cancer was minimal.

For example, chemotherapy was invented in 1960, when poison gas was found to kill cancerous tumors in one mouse. As it turns out, they were not quite able to replicate the success on other mice, but for some reason, for that initial one, it seemed to work quite well. This ‘fluke’ of an experiment was the original foundation of chemotherapy. When it became clear that chemo wasn’t all that effective on its own, radiation was added, and now chemotherapy in conjunction with radiation therapy is the norm for many types of cancer.

Cancer Drugs Can Also Cause Cancer

Another problem is that many of the chemotherapy drugs have been found to cause cancer. Such is the case with the blockbuster breast cancer drug Tamoxifen. It does reduce breast cancer, but it more than doubles your risk of uterine cancer. And if you take it for more than five years, you again increase your risk of recurring breast cancer. But rather than remove it from the market, patients are simply told that uterine cancer can be successfully treated by performing a hysterectomy…

The entire cancer industry built on purging cancer cells from your body by toxic means, and they will not remove a drug simply because it’s dangerous, because there really isn’t such a thing as “too dangerous” when you’re dealing with cancer drugs.

As Dr. Whitaker says:

“We started on the wrong foot, and stayed on the wrong foot, and now we are paying the price.”

The price is your health, even if you survive the treatment, which many do not. By and large, people who get chemo die around the same time as those who do nothing. The main difference is that those who get the standard care suffer far more than those who get no treatment at all.

The question is: Does it really have to be like this?

No, it doesn’t.

What Your Oncologist Won’t Tell You…

In the film, Jim Navarro makes a statement that really highlights the sheer ludicrousness of the current model of cancer care. Although the doctor admitted that chemotherapy “would not work” for their son’s particular cancer, and the package insert stated that the drug has not been proven safe or effective for pediatric use, he still insisted that chemotherapy had to be used, and if the Navarro’s refused to submit their son to this ‘standard care,’ they could go to jail and their son could be legally taken from them.

Meanwhile, they were blocked from using an alternative treatment created by Dr. Burzynski—a completely non-toxic treatment with an average success rate of 50-60 percent—because it was not part of the approved standard of care.

This is a dementedly inhuman game; where a child’s quality of life and entire future is tossed aside in order to maintain a highly profitable status quo.

The truth of the matter is that safe and effective alternatives to this toxic and deadly paradigm do exist.

I’ve already written two articles about Dr. Burzynski’s gene-specific treatment using antineoplastons, peptides and derivatives of amino acids that act as molecular and genetic switches. They turn off oncogenes, the genes that cause cancer, and activate chemo suppressor genes; the genes that fight cancer. Furthermore, it’s completely non-toxic, and patients suffer virtually no side effects at all. Best of all, once the cancer is gone, the rate of recurrence is slim to none.

As a testament to the safety and effectiveness of antineoplastons, Dr. Burzynski has patients who have survived with “incurable” cancers for over 20 years, and are still cancer free after going through his program. Some of these cases are highlighted in his film Burzynski: The Movie, which you can still view for free here.

A major part of the problem is that—while the drug industry initially opposed being regulated by the FDA—they soon discovered that it’s an excellent way to eliminate unwanted competition.

The price per drug approval is about $1.6 billion, which effectively eliminates innovative drugs by individuals and small pharmaceutical companies. In short, the drug industry is a playground that only the largest monopolies on Earth can afford to play in. Dr. Burzynski’s story is a perfect example of how the FDA effectively curtails medical innovation in order to protect the profits of these industry giants.

Instead of supporting the development of a cure for cancer, the US federal government spent $8 million of Americans’ tax dollars to persecute and prosecute Dr. Burzynski over a period of 13 years, in order to prevent his remarkably successful treatment from being used…

In the end, Dr. Burzynski prevailed, but he still has not been able to get his antineoplastons approved by the FDA. And, despite overwhelming evidence that the drug is both safe and effective, the American Cancer Society placed antineoplastons on its unapproved drugs list, warning patients away from it.

Do they or don’t they want cancer cured in America?

Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez was not interviewed in this film but he is another prominent alternative cancer physician who shared his run-ins with the conventional cancer model in my interview with him earlier this year.

The Irony that is the American Cancer Society…

It’s important to realize that non-profits like the American Cancer Society (ACS) are defined by their financial support, and the ACS funding comes from the deep pockets of giant corporations and industries—all of which therefore have a vested financial interest in the cancer business.

As Dr. Whitaker says in the film, when you graciously donate to the American Cancer Society, you are perpetuating a failure. The ACS is in fact an impediment to advances in cancer therapy, and have no interest in really finding a cure—especially not a cure that doesn’t cost an absolute fortune. Besides, as soon as a cure for cancer is found, the society is supposed to disband.

But you cannot disband an entire industry, and that is what it has become. It is now a cancer industry.

Did you know that even the simple PAP smear was opposed and left largely unused for some 25 years, as this inexpensive test would infringe on profits? Once the PAP smear finally did come into widespread use, mortality rates from cervical cancer dropped dramatically.

And so, the battle to suppress innovation rages on.

Today, there are a number of alternative cancer treatments that are vehemently suppressed and opposed, while bobble-heads talk about ‘doing everything we can to find a cure for cancer.’

For example, dichloroacetic acid, known as DCA also appears to have remarkable potential as a cancer treatment. The reason it’s not available as an approved treatment for cancer is because it costs merely pennies a day, so no drug company wants to touch it. You probably couldn’t even break even after paying the $1 billion or so to get the approval… and this is the primary problem with the current cancer paradigm: Only patents make money, and if you can’t patent it because it’s a natural product, or if the treatment is not going to be exceedingly profitable, it will never see the light of day as an FDA approved cancer treatment. Nor will it be part of the standard of care.

This paradigm blocks those who can really help from doing so; it blocks progress, hinders innovation; limits personal choice; and sacrifices those who need not necessarily die—such as Jim and Donna Navarro’s son. His death certificate reads:

Cause of Death: Respiratory failure due to chronic toxicity of chemotherapy

After 40 years of war on cancer, that is where we are today…

“The National Cancer Program is a bunch of sh*t.”
Dr. James Watson, 1975
Discoverer of DNA, Nobel Laureate

“Everyone should know that cancer research is largely fraud.”
Dr. Linus Pauling, 1986
Nobel Laureate

Study Finds No Progress in Safety at Hospitals

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Posted 25 Nov 2010 — by James Street
Category Hospital Safety
November 24, 2010

Efforts to make hospitals safer for patients are falling short, researchers report in the first large study in a decade to analyze harm from medical care and to track it over time.

The study, conducted from 2002 to 2007 in 10 North Carolina hospitals, found that harm to patients was common and that the number of incidents did not decrease over time. The most common problems were complications from procedures or drugs and hospital-acquired infections.

“It is unlikely that other regions of the country have fared better,” said Dr. Christopher P. Landrigan, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. The study is being published on Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

It is one of the most rigorous efforts to collect data about patient safety since a landmark report in 1999 found that medical mistakes caused as many as 98,000 deaths and more than one million injuries a year in the United States. That report, by the Institute of Medicine, an independent group that advises the government on health matters, led to a national movement to reduce errors and make hospital stays less hazardous to patients’ health.

Among the preventable problems that Dr. Landrigan’s team identified were severe bleeding during an operation, serious breathing trouble caused by a procedure that was performed incorrectly, a fall that dislocated a patient’s hip and damaged a nerve, and vaginal cuts caused by a vacuum device used to help deliver a baby.

Dr. Landrigan’s team focused on North Carolina because its hospitals, compared with those in most states, have been more involved in programs to improve patient safety.

But instead of improvements, the researchers found a high rate of problems. About 18 percent of patients were harmed by medical care, some more than once, and 63.1 percent of the injuries were judged to be preventable. Most of the problems were temporary and treatable, but some were serious, and a few — 2.4 percent — caused or contributed to a patient’s death, the study found.

The findings were a disappointment but not a surprise, Dr. Landrigan said. Many of the problems were caused by the hospitals’ failure to use measures that had been proved to avert mistakes and to prevent infections from devices like urinary catheters, ventilators and lines inserted into veins and arteries.

“Until there is a more coordinated effort to implement those strategies proven beneficial, I think that progress in patient safety will be very slow,” he said.

An expert on hospital safety who was not associated with the study said the findings were a warning for the patient-safety movement. “We need to do more, and to do it more quickly,” said the expert, Dr. Robert M. Wachter, the chief of hospital medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

A recent government report found similar results, saying that in October 2008, 13.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries — 134,000 patients — experienced “adverse events” during hospital stays. The report said the extra treatment required as a result of the injuries could cost Medicare several billion dollars a year. And in 1.5 percent of the patients — 15,000 in the month studied — medical mistakes contributed to their deaths. That report, issued this month by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services, was based on a sample of Medicare records from patients discharged from hospitals.

Dr. Landrigan’s study reviewed the records of 2,341 patients admitted to 10 hospitals — in both urban and rural areas and involving large and small medical centers. (The hospitals were not named.) The researchers used a “trigger tool,” a list of 54 red flags that indicated something could have gone wrong. They included drugs used only to reverse an overdose, the presence of bedsores or the patient’s readmission to the hospital within 30 days.

The researchers found 588 instances in which a patient was harmed by medical care, or 25.1 injuries per 100 admissions.

Not all the problems were serious. Most were temporary and treatable, like a bout with severe low blood sugar from receiving too much insulin or a urinary infection caused by a catheter. But 42.7 percent of them required extra time in the hospital for treatment of problems like an infected surgical incision.

In 2.9 percent of the cases, patients suffered a permanent injury — brain damage from a stroke that could have been prevented after an operation, for example. A little more than 8 percent of the problems were life-threatening, like severe bleeding during surgery. And 2.4 percent of them caused or contributed to a patient’s death — like bleeding and organ failure after surgery.

Medication errors caused problems in 162 cases. Computerized systems for ordering drugs can cut such mistakes by up to 80 percent, Dr. Landrigan said. But only 17 percent of hospitals have such systems.

For the most part, the reporting of medical errors or harm to patients is voluntary, and that “vastly underestimates the frequency of errors and injuries that occur,” Dr. Landrigan said.

“We need a monitoring system that is mandatory,” he said. “There has to be some mechanism for federal-level reporting, where hospitals across the country are held to it.”

Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president of the Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals, cautioned that the study was limited by its list of “triggers.” If a hospital had performed a completely unnecessary operation, but had done it well, the study would not have uncovered it, he said. Similarly, he said, the study would not have found areas where many hospitals have made progress, such as in making sure that patients who had heart attacks or heart failure were sent home with the right medicines.

The bottom line, he said, “is that preventable complications are way too frequent in American health care, and “it’s not a problem we’re going to get rid of in six months or a year.”

Dr. Wachter said the study made clear the difficulty in improving patients’ safety.

“Process changes, like a new computer system or the use of a checklist, may help a bit,” he said, “but if they are not embedded in a system in which the providers are engaged in safety efforts, educated about how to identify safety hazards and fix them, and have a culture of strong communication and teamwork, progress may be painfully slow.”

Leah Binder, the chief executive officer of the Leapfrog Group, a patient safety organization whose members include large employers trying to improve health care, said it was essential that hospitals be more open about reporting problems.

“What we know works in a general sense is a competitive open market where consumers can compare providers and services,” she said. “Right now you ought to be able to know the infection rate of every hospital in your community.”

For hospitals with poor scores, there should be consequences, Ms. Binder said: “And the consequences need to be the feet of the American public.”