About

Are you are concerned about safety in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare settings? Do you want patients and their loved ones to have a greater voice in healthcare safety in New York?  We hope you will connect with us!

New Yorkers for Patient & Family Empowerment, Inc. (also known as “Patient & Family”) is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to:

(1) Empower patients and their loved ones in interacting with the healthcare system;

(2) Strengthen public access to information on patient safety; and

(3) Improve quality, safety and dignity in healthcare in New York.

We define “family” to include the key support persons and loved ones in the patient’s life, as determined by the patient.

We hope you will use the information we post and also share with us your most important concerns about healthcare safety. If you see a problem in healthcare safety or quality, please report it!  You can e-mail us, and you are very welcome to visit us at our Facebook page (please click on “like” if you would like to receive updates from us in your Facebook “news feed”)!

Background

The Institute of Medicine released a shocking report in 1999 (To Err Is Human). That report concluded that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year from medical errors — the rough equivalent of the downing of one jumbo jet per day. It established that medical errors are a leading cause of death in the United States and a major factor in the nation’s high health care costs, estimating the annual cost at $17 million or more.

Despite this call for safety, little has changed in the daily experience of patients in hospitals and medical centers. A November 2010 report by the Health & Human Services Inspector General found that one out of every seven hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries is seriously harmed in the course of their care, and at least 44 percent of these events are preventable. So while some health care providers have improved safety, substantial risks remain unaddressed and new risks continue to arise.

Patients and their loved ones may try to be active participants in their healthcare but may find that they are at a disadvantage because of:

  • The element of surprise or lack of preparedness for dealing with the medical system
  • Feeling reluctant to demand attention from busy medical personnel
  • Exhaustion, physical weakness, or other impairment
  • Impacts of language, race/ethnicity, culture or income
  • Lack of a “support person” (loved one or trusted friend to help advocate for the patient)
  • Fear of annoying or angering staff or being stigmatized as “troublesome”

New Yorkers for Patient & Family Empowerment, Inc., was formed to focus greater attention on patient safety and to counteract the factors that make it harder for patients and their loved ones to achieve greater safety in healthcare. We define “family” to include the key support persons and loved ones in the patient’s life, as determined by the patient.

Do you live in New York State and care about patient safety?  Please join with other New Yorkers concerned about patient and family empowerment –  make a donation to support our work!  Note:  We define “family” to include the key support persons and loved ones in the patient’s life, as determined by the patient.

Write to us at New Yorkers for Patient & Family Empowerment, Inc., 9 Murray ST – Lower Level – NYPIRG, New York, NY 10007.  Phone: 646-465-3635.  Also, come visit our Facebook page.

 

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