As Oprah Winfrey goes, so goes America. Which is why patient-safety advocates were pleased to see the influential media celebrity feature medical errors on a recent Oprah show.
On her March 10 show, Winfrey hosted Dennis Quaid, the actor whose newborn twins were given serious overdoses of the blood thinner heparin last year at 914-bed Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The popular talk show host also demonstrated medication management technology from San Diego-based developer IntelliDot Corp. during the show.
The hospitals error spurred a flurry of activity within the healthcare quality movement. Since then, Quaid has become a highly visible advocate for increased patient safety, touting the need for more information technology such as bar coding and computer physician-order entry systems in hospitals. In addition, Quaid is planning to give a keynote address on safety and technology at the annual conference of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society in Chicago next month.