Where is Frisco, Texas? How could David Rogers, M.D., be so out of touch with reality? I do not disagree with the statement in his Sept. 26 letter. He wrote: "I've been involved in high-level hospital and physician peer review for more than a decade and the only culture I am aware of is that all physicians care about the quality of the healthcare our patients receive. That is universal."
But the fact that physicians care about the quality of healthcare and the quality of care our patients receive is not enough. We must have a system that ensures patient safety. Having had two elderly parents recently hospitalized made it very clear to me that without me as an advocate at their bedside, they would have suffered consequences from treatment errors.
Not everyone has the benefit of having a physician family member to sit at his or her bedside. I hope that what David Brailer, M.D., is accomplishing in Washington will help advance the quality of care that is provided in our healthcare system. I, too, have been involved in high-level hospital peer review and am quite aware of the numerous mistakes that are made on a daily basis, regardless of whether these are the result of negligence or a broken system. As we have seen -- most recently in New Orleans -- there are many reasons to have electronic medical records other than just improving quality and preventing errors. Paper is not portable anymore.
Matthew Rhoa, M.D., medical director, specialty biotherapeutics, Genentech, San Francisco