Consumers Union to Convene November 17th Patient Safety Forum to Highlight Lack of Progress in Reducing Deadly Medical Errors

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 General News J E 4

Congressional Reform Bills Include Important Initiatives to Improve Care But More Is Needed to Protect Patients

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On November 17, Consumers Union is hosting a forum in Washington D.C. to mark the 10-year anniversary since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) first estimated that as many as 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. The forum will highlight the lack of progress in reducing medical errors since the IOM report was published. A webcast of the forum is being held to make the event accessible nationwide.

"There is little evidence to suggest that the number of people dying from medical harm has dropped since the IOM first warned about these deadly mistakes a decade ago," said Lisa McGiffert," Director of Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project. "We're pleased that the health care reform bills in Congress include a number of important patient safety initiatives, but more work is needed to do everything possible to reduce medical harm in our health care system. We can't afford to wait another decade before we take the steps needed to make health care safer."

Consumers Union's Patient Safety Forum follows the publication earlier this year of its own report "To Err is Human - To Delay is Deadly," which detailed how key recommendations by the IOM to reduce medical harm have been ignored.

WHAT: Consumers Union Patient Safety Forum (webcast available)

WHEN: Tuesday, November 17, 10AM to 3:00PM EST

WHERE: Kaiser Family Foundation, 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, D.C.

WHO: Jim Guest, President of Consumers Union

Art Levin, Center for Medical Consumers and former IOM member

U.S. Representative Bruce Braley (D-Iowa)

Helen Haskell, Mothers Against Medical Error

Lori Nerbonne, New Hampshire Patient Voices

Patty Skolnik, Citizens for Patient Safety

Lisa McGiffert, Consumers Union's Safe Patient Project

Dr. Richard Shannon, Dept. of Medicine, U. of PA Health System

Charles Ornstein, ProPublica,

Maggie Mahar, author, Money-Driven Medicine

Cathleen Crowley, Hearst Newspapers

NOTE: Consumers Union can connect reporters with individuals who have been harmed by hospital infections and other medical errors who are willing to be interviewed about their stories. For more information, contact Michael McCauley at

SOURCE Consumers Union


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