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Cliff Rieders

For years I have been critical about the secretiveness which pervades the medical system. In spite of laws assuring patient access to their own medical records, it is still extremely difficult and expensive for patients to get their own medical records and test results. Preventable medical errors are routinely covered up by health care professionals who do not always put the truth in the medical records or address poor medical care in the context of peer review. In Pennsylvania, as in most states, peer review cannot be disclosed even in litigation.

It is the view of many academics that telling the patients the truth about their medical care would be good for patient safety because it would reduce the number of medical errors. Currently, there are as many preventable errors in U.S. hospitals as the number of deaths that would occur if two 747’s crashed per month, killing all aboard. The catastrophe of preventable medical errors has driven health care costs through the roof.

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