Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) is an advocacy group devoted to improving patient health and safety.
Improving health and safety involves many facets:
- Innovative technology to provide for necessary monitoring of patient vital signs. For example, as the Wall Street Journal proclaimed in its story about Howard Snitzer “A little known device is shaking conventional wisdom for reviving people who suffer sudden cardiac arrest: People may be able to go much longer without a pulse than the 20 minutes previously believed.”
- Health Care Providers who must make critical live-saving decisions, such as anesthesiologists who, as the American Society of Anesthesiologists says, “are responsible for administering anesthesia to relieve pain and for managing vital life functions, including breathing, heart rhythm and blood pressure, during surgery. After surgery, they maintain the patient in a comfortable state during the recovery and are involved in the provision of critical care medicine in the intensive care unit.”
- Information on what works and how it enhances patient health and safety.
In particular, PPAHS has been vocal on the following critical patient safety issues:
- Continuous electronic monitoring: all patients receiving opioids should be continuously electronically monitored with oximetry and capnography.
- False alarms and fatigue: hospitals and other healthcare facilities must address and reduce alarm fatigue for improved patient safety.
- Ease of patient assessment: for ease and better patient assessment, utilize technology that incorporates multiple physiological parameters into one.
- Eliminating preventable errors and reducing healthcare costs: need to eliminate preventable errors and reduce costs, particularly through the standardization of best practices and protocols.
PPAHS is composed of physicians, patients, individuals, and organizations (please click here for our supporters).
Inspiration and Individuals Behind PPAHS
PPAHS and this website is inspired by Howard Snitzer, who survived 96 minutes without a heart beat. Howard’s resuscitation by volunteer paramedics and Dr Roger White at the Mayo Clinic is a truly remarkable story. Moreover, as Howard says, he owes this “fifth shot at living well” to the capnograph which encouraged his rescuers to continue their efforts and, of course, to their persistence and never-give-up attitude.
Mike Wong built this free WordPress site (yes, free! — thank you, WordPress!). A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, he is currently on the editorial board of the Journal of Patient Compliance, a peer-reviewed journal devoted to improving patient adherence (i.e. getting patients to take their medications as prescribed by their physicians). According to the New England Healthcare Institute, the problem of non-adherence costs as much as $290 billion annually in extra doctor visits, extra hospital admissions, extra emergency room visits, extra prescriptions … and, of course, poorer patient health … all caused by non-adherence.
Mike has been involved in a number of healthcare issues affecting patients and their friends and families — including encouraging smokers to quit in community-driven initiatives, helping pain patients receive physician-recommended treatments, and raising awareness about the dangers of hepatitis B in the Asian American community.
So, there is no board of directors, a president, secretary or executive management for PPAHS. However, there is passion and a desire to improve patient safety and health outcomes through technology like capnography that helped save Howard, and more knowledge and expertise like that of Bruce Goodman and Dr Roger White at the Mayo Clinic.
Hopefully, there will be more cases like Howard’s and fewer instances like that of Carly Ann Pritchard. (Ms Pritchard suffered an ankle injury and then underwent surgery to reduce lingering pain from her ankle injury. Unfortunately, although she survived surgery, she suffered brain damage because of an accidental overdose from a morphine-filled pain pump — after surgery. A California appeals court recently upheld a jury’s award of about $9.9 million in damages.)