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ProPublica calls for transparency in surgeons’ histories

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A recent article published by ProPublica, a New York City non-profit newsroom that produces investigative reports for the benefit of the public, explores the subject of surgeons’ records, specifically their complication rates, in relation to the massive number of Americans who die in hospitals from preventable causes each year.

Among the article’s main points is the argument that patients normally choose surgeons for elective surgeries based on the reputation of the hospital, rather than the individual surgeons’ reputations. According to ProPublica’s investigation, this is a mistake. The authors, Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce, use two hospitals to illustrate this theory. A surgeon who works at Johns Hopkins, a hospital renowned for its research on patient safety, had more complications with his procedures and patients than all ten of his colleagues had combined. Conversely, a surgeon at a small clinic in Alabama had some of the best results for knee replacements in the whole country.

In an effort to present fair information, ProPublica focused research on elective operations, as they usually deal with healthier patients and easier recoveries, and took measures to account for external factors such as patients’ health and age.

The article blames the status quo that enables health care professionals to hide and ignore their high complication rates for the high number of preventable deaths, and postulates that more transparent communication between doctors and their patients is a necessary step towards minimizing post-op complications and deaths.

If your condition has worsened after a negligent surgeon performed inadequately, contact the medical malpractice attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® at (800) 242-2874 today to learn about your legal options for recourse.