Hospital Quality Data Not Released
Citing privacy laws, Los Angeles County health officials are refusing to release information about the quality of care provided at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Times requested data under the Public Records Act on the number of deaths, medication errors, patient falls, infections and medical errors at the hospital. Former county Department of Health Services officials released the information last year, and former county DHS Director Thomas Garthwaite adopted an open policy to improve transparency at the hospital.
However, Bruce Chernof, who earlier this year replaced Garthwaite, said state law protects hospitals from being required to release quality data. He added that he "wouldn't release these data for any of our other hospitals."
Chernof and California Hospital Association officials said they are concerned that if hospitals were required to report the data publicly, it might discourage employees from reporting problems or errors (Ornstein, Los Angeles Times, 6/6).
In related news, KPCC's "Patt Morrison" on Monday included an interview with King/Drew CEO Antionette Smith Epps about the upcoming CMS inspection (Morrison, "Patt Morrison," KPCC, 6/5). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.
KPCC's "KPCC News" on Friday included an interview with Los Angeles Times reporter Charles Ornstein about the inspection (Julian, "KPCC News," KPCC, 6/2). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.