In 2004, Florida passed a law known as the “Patients’ Right-to-Know Amendment.” The law allows patients to see previously confidential hospital or physician records of any adverse medical incident at a facility. Such incidents can range from medical malpractice to a near miss, such as a doctor almost giving a patient the wrong medication. Virginia should follow Florida’s lead.
In Virginia, as elsewhere, hospitals are required to investigate the facts surrounding medical mistakes and other poor outcomes. The process is called “peer review” and its purpose is to learn from mistakes and take steps to prevent the recurrence of those mistakes. This information should be available to the public.
Don’t you want to know if your doctor or hospital has had a large number of medical mistakes? I do!