4 times news outlets prompted hospital investigations


Investigative journalism holds great power to make change across all arenas, including healthcare.

While regulatory agencies and accrediting bodies are tasked with monitoring healthcare facilities' compliance with both state and federal policies, some news outlets have been one step ahead, unearthing issues that stimulate regulatory oversight or change.

Here are four stories in which a newspaper report prompted a hospital investigation, starting with the most recent:

1. Mount Sinai's ED is a 'war zone,' nurse says
In early December, the New York Post published an exposé on alleged safety issues at Mount Sinai Hospital's emergency department in New York City. Shortly after the report came out, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered state health officials to investigate the allegations.

2. CMS to investigate Newark Beth Israel after ProPublica exposé
CMS shared plans to investigate Newark (N.J.) Beth Israel Medical Center in October after a ProPublica report alleged physicians kept a patient in a vegetative state alive for a year to improve its heart transplant program's survival rate.

3. Investigative report spurs Joint Commission to review South Carolina patient's death
The Joint Commission is investigating the death of 35-year-old William Avant, who died of suffocation after being improperly restrained by employees at the Bryan Psychiatric Facility in Columbia, S.C. The organization learned of the incident after The Statereleased an investigative report on the state-run mental health facility in July. 

4. Health officials to investigate UNC Children's Hospital after NYT exposé
North Carolina health officials launched an investigation into Chapel Hill-based UNC Children's Hospital after The New York Times in May published a 7,000-word investigative report on care quality concerns at the hospital's pediatric heart surgery program in 2016 and 2017.

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