Friday, April 30, 2010

On Law Day - Support Equal Justice

Tomorrow - May 1 - is Law Day.  It is a time to momentarily reflect on the rule of law in our society.  In an "As I See It" column in today's Telegram and Gazette (link here), Joe Fournier and I advocate for support of civil legal aid - a program that provides legal assistance to low income individuals who cannot afford an attorney.  We do so through the eyes of one Worcester man who was helped enormously by the great support of the Legal Assistance Corporation of Central Massachusetts.  Please read his story.   And please do what you can to support legal aid and promote equal justice in our community.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Serious Reportable Events

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health just released their annual report of serious reportable events in Massachusetts hospitals.  You can see the report here.  There were 383 in total for 2009, up from 338 the year before.  The biggest increase was in pressure ulcers, but the DPH thinks this may be due to better reporting as opposed to an increase in the incident rate.  Falls continue to make up a majority of the events (52%), although they were down from last year (to read why I think falls should not be included on this list, see my October, 2009 Op-Ed here). 

In general, it looks like Massachusetts hospitals are doing better than their peers in other states.  But there were still 24 wrong side surgeries last year.  On this one, the benchmarks shouldn't matter.  There shouldn't be any.  How many commercial airplanes go to the wrong city?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Blessing In Disguise?

In this post from February 4, I noted that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, we should not be "surprised if the agenda Brown ends up mucking up is not that of the President, but the national Republican Party."  It looks like that may becoming more of a reality, as Brown's snub of the Tea Party this week was just the latest in a string of moves that have frustrated his original supporters.  In this article today in Yahoo News, noting these developments, the writer ponders whether Brown has become a blessing in disguise for the Democrats.  That might be a stretch, but it is further reason not to put too much faith in "conventional wisdom."