Printed letters, November 2, 2010

The recent Associated Press story, “Surgical mistakes persist despite safety protocols, finds study,” illustrates the fact that, despite much work over the last decade, our health care system still does not do enough to guard against serious, and occasionally deadly, errors.

The authors of the study deserve our applause for having the courage to conduct such an analysis and bring it to the attention of the public. Transparency is essential for understanding the systems problems that bring about error and making the changes that can keep those problems from occurring again.

That is why Colorado’s physicians, hospitals and malpractice insurers are working with consumer advocates to come up with new approaches for making our health care system safer. Together, we are developing models that provide prompt investigation when something goes wrong, timely compensation to injured patients, swift accountability for providers and system changes to minimize the potential for future harm.

Those who have not been engaged in our constructive solution-building are using this story as a call for more retribution and greater liability, instead of better patient safety. But liability hasn’t made our health care system safer. In fact, it hampers our efforts to improve safety. Indeed, instead of shedding light on adverse events, our current system of liability encourages a “deny and defend” posture among medical providers.

The Colorado Medical Society, the Colorado Hospital Association and COPIC Insurance are dedicated to making Colorado the safest state in the country for medical care. However sobering its conclusions, it is the sunshine of studies like the one in this article that allow us to truly understand and fix the problems in our health care delivery system.

MIKE PRAMENKO, President

Colorado Medical Society

Grand Junction

Why is enforcement lax for mailbox vandalism?

In the Oct. 26 “Blotter,” there was an item about three juveniles putting a dead animal in a mailbox and all they got from law enforcement as punishment was a requirement to go back and take it out of the mailbox.

I thought that tampering with a mailbox by any unauthorized person was a federal offense. The law allowed them to open the mailbox twice, without any punishment at all.

What kind of law enforcement is that?

RAFAEL SALAZ

Grand Junction

Grand Junction theater is up and going strong

It was disappointing that Senior Theatre was omitted in the fine article “State of the stage” about community theater in Grand Junction that appeared in “Out and About” Oct. 22.

Senior Theatre will be producing its 14th production in the spring of 2011. The first show, “Front Page Follies,” occurred in April 1996. During the subsequent yearly shows, there have been several Vaudeville-type performances and comedy plays.

Most of the shows have been performed at the Avalon Theatre, with that theater benefiting, as a large percentage of the show profits was given toward Avalon’s renovation project. That first show gave a donation in the amount of $3,000 to the Avalon.

This theater group showcases the talent of seniors age 50 and up, including people into their 90s. Entertainment is brought to all ages. Shows are held every spring and auditions for the 2011 event will be held in January.

Daily Sentinel reporter Melinda Mawdsley wrote a great article about community theater. It is good to know theater actors, musicians and dancers are out there to entertain and lift our spirits in Grand Junction. Thank you for the article, Melinda.

EVELYN KYLE

Co-producer of “Front Page Follies”

Grand Junction



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