We've all said it at some point, at home talking with family or at the office talking with co-workers. If you don't want to get sick, don't go to the hospital. I was saying that again after news broke last week that three people died in Minnesota earlier this month shortly after having elective knee surgery.
I had elective outpatient knee surgery on Aug. 27 at a prestigious tertiary-care hospital in Chicago. I had a little cup of torn cartilage removed from my right knee. (They told me it would look like crabmeat, and they were right!) The episode went flawlessly, from pre-op assessment to anesthesia to the procedure itself to recovery. My only complaint was that the waiting room had no newspapers. Those were sold in the gift shop, which is not an easy jaunt for someone with a bum right knee or far-worse medical problem.
But I lived. And the three patients in Minnesota died. Was it something the hospitals did or didn't do? Was it something the doctors or surgical teams did or didn't do? Was it something the patients did or didn't do? Or was it just dumb luck? That would be the most worrisome reason of all.
With 2002 promising to be a momentous year for the healthcare industry, we're gearing up as well.
We've promoted Todd Sloane, who's served on our editing desk for the past seven years, to the newly created position of assistant managing editor/op-ed. In this role, he'll coordinate editorials, commentaries, columns and letters, giving Modern Healthcare a strong voice on key healthcare issues. More important, creating a new editorial focus within the magazine will give you, the reader, a greater opportunity to have your opinions heard.
We've also promoted copy editor Michael Pfaff to editing desk chief, replacing Sloane. Percy Marioni, our graphics editor, has been promoted to art director.
We're beefing up our reporting ranks as well. Vince Galloro, an ace reporter in our Chicago office, is taking over the investor-owned hospital beat from Barbara Kirchheimer, who recently was promoted to news editor.
And we've hired back Julie Piotrowski, a former researcher and survey editor, as a reporter in our New York bureau, covering post-acute and outpatient care, specialty hospitals and public health. Thank you.