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Patient Safety Ignored?

A patient-safety advisory committee estimated that their latest recommendations could save New York state almost $12 billion annually in state health plan costs. But apparently, no one is paying attention to those recommendations - more from Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas

According to the Albany Times Union, the New York State Health Department ignored recommendations offered by The New York State Patient Safety Advisory Committee, which was created to prevent medical deaths, stem hospital errors, and publicize doctors' practice histories in the form of a "physician profile"  -

The panel was charged with enhancing and improving public access to health care information - but the newspaper found that top officials ignored years of work by the advisory committe

Ilene Corina is President of patient advocacy group PULSE, New York and co-founded PULSE of America. Back in 2000 she was involved in getting New York's Patient Safety Center set up, under the state's Health Information and Quality Improvement Act.   Medical harm occurs 15 million times a year, according to estimates by the non-profit Institute for Healthcare Improvement.  Corina says the system is wrought with problems.

State health officials argue the allegations made by the newspaper are "false." Bill Schawrz is the Director of Public Affairs for the New York State Department of Health.

Committee leaders did not return calls for comment in time for broadcast.

The law that created the Patient Safety Center states: "The center shall provide a report of its findings and recommendations to the governor and legislature and make such report available to the public ... at regular intervals." Governor Andrew Cuomo's office also did not return calls for comment.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.