The Downfall Of A Database That Offered Patient Safety Insights
ProPublica: How Complaints From A Single Doctor Took Down A Public Database
An agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that maintains a discipline and medical-malpractice database reopened it for public access yesterday, two months after the agency had first taken the database offline. The National Practitioner Data Bank contains information used by hospitals, insurers, and licensing boards to track doctors' records, check prospective hires, and make other decisions. A publicly available version of the database — which removed confidential identifiers such as doctors' names and addresses — had long been used by reporters and others interested in patient safety (Wang, 11/10).