PBS Series Examines Efforts To Reform U.S. Health Care System
PBS on Thursday will begin to air a four-part series called "Remaking American Medicine: Health Care for the 21st Century," which examines efforts to improve the U.S. health care system, including increasing patient safety, reducing medical errors, and creating partnerships between providers and their communities. Summaries of the episodes appear below.
- "Silent Killer": The episode profiles the efforts of Sorrel King, a patient safety advocate who partnered with Johns Hopkins to address safety issues after her 18-month-old daughter died at the hospital as a result of a medical error.
- "First Do No Harm": The episode focuses on physician efforts at hospitals in Pennsylvania and New Jersey to reduce the frequency of medical errors.
- "The Stealth Epidemic": The episode examines efforts to improve the treatment of chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and congestive heart failure, in Los Angeles and Whatcom County, Wash., through improved physician-patient relationships.
- "Hand in Hand": The episode profiles patients, families and providers who created a partnership at the Medical College of Georgia Health System in Augusta, Ga., to increase patient involvement in care delivery as medicine becomes more complex and technologically sophisticated.
Several newspapers recently included features on local individuals, health care programs and special broadcast programming related to "Remaking American Medicine." Summaries appear below:
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Children's Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota implemented a delivery system based on Johns Hopkins' program that empowers all employees with patient contact "to speak up if they see something not quite right about the patients' recovery" in an effort to prevent medical errors, the Star Tribune reports (Francis, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10/3).
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Shadyside and Children's Hospital developed a program called Condition Help, which allows patients or family members to summon care providers other than the ones assigned to them, the Post-Gazette reports. The hospitals' efforts are profiled on PBS. In addition, the PBS special also profiles William Hackney, a Pittsburgh resident who died from a hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus infection, and Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury secretary and founder of the Pittsburgh Regional Health Initiative (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/4).
- Richmond Times-Dispatch: WCVE's "Virginia Currents" will air two live, local call-in programs, titled "Remaking Virginia Medicine: A Virginia Currents Special," immediately after "Remaking American Medicine" on Oct. 12 and Oct. 19 (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 9/29).