Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fed Govt kept records of bad healthcare workers, BUT

kept them secret. And you want WHO to control healthcare??

Twenty-two years ago, the federal government started keeping a list of nurses, nurse aides, pharmacists and pharmacy aides who've been disciplined by state licensing boards. It's called the Healthcare Integrity and Protection Data Bank.

But hospitals and nursing homes aren't allowed to see the database.

By law, it was supposed to be open to hospitals and nursing homes when they hire staff and want to run a background check. But the Department of Health and Human Services never completed the regulation implementing the law. Turns out, slow-moving bureaucracy is the main culprit.

"There's really no reason for it at all," says Dr. Sidney Wolfe, who runs the consumer advocacy organization Public Citizen's Health Research Group.

Wolfe notes that there are more than 102,000 nurses, nurse aides, pharmacists and pharmacy assistants who've been disciplined and included in the registry, but that hospitals and nursing homes can't check the data bank. There's also a separate, national data bank of doctors who've been disciplined, he adds, and that list can be checked by hospitals.