Sunday, March 11, 2012
Kaiser Permanente CEO Robert Pearl Talks About Medical Errors--and inadvertently admits he deceived the court
Kaiser has had serious problems with medical errors, but prefers to point the finger at others.
There are some serious problems with Dr. Pearl's story (below) about his father's death. As proven by The Kaiser Papers, Dr. Pearl's father died in Florida, apparently a considerable time AFTER Dr. Pearl says he found his father on the living room floor in California. Why didn't Dr. Pearl investigate the cause of his father's sepsis during that time? Why did he wait until after his father was dead to look into his care?
Another problem is that Dr. Pearl apparently lied in court about the cause of his father's death. He sued the woman who caused a car accident long before his father's death, and forced the woman to pay for Dr. Pearl's pain and suffering at the loss of his father. But Dr. Pearl now admits that the accident was survivable, and the cause of death was actually a medical mistake.
Why didn't Dr. Pearl bother to check on his father's care BEFORE he died?
Dr. Pearl says his father visited him in California after the car accident, at which time his father collapsed from sepsis. The older man apparently recovered enough to return to Florida, but Dr. Pearl didn't bother to make sure his father had received the proper immunizations against infection.
I seems that Dr. Pearl may have invented the story about his father's visit to California. Is this a terrible thing for Dr. Pearl to have done? No, I don't think that it matters much where things happened.
I think it does matter, however, that Dr. Pearl gave one reason in court (in an effort to achieve financial gain) regarding his father's death, and then gave another reason to the media to attract patients to Kaiser Permanente (also to achieve financial gain)!
The place doesn't matter. The reason for, and the time of, the death are extremely important. If doctors killed him, then the much-earlier car accident was survivable. If the old man would have survived except for improper medical care, then the car accident was not the proximate cause of death. But that's NOT what Dr. Pearl said in court.
Kaiser CEO Talks To ABC7 About Medical Errors
December 03, 2005
By Karina Rusk
The man at the helm of Kaiser-Permanente speaks to ABC7 about a series of deadly medical mistakes and his personal connection to medical tragedy.
Dr. Robert Pearl is not only the CEO of the Permanente Medical Group, he is a son who lost his father to a medical error.
After an operation on the East Coast, Dr. Pearl's father did not receive a common and necessary vaccine.
Robert Pearl, M.D., Permanente Medical Group CEO: "As a consequence, one day when he was visiting me in California he was found unresponsive on the living room floor early in the morning with pneumococcal septicemia."
Dr. Pearl says that post operative infection took his father's life two years ago. The Institute of Medicine says such medical errors result in as many as 98,000 preventable deaths each year.
Dr. Pearl says that 1999 report is important to him professionally and personally.
Dr. Pearl: "If you use the national numbers, he is but a statistic. As a family member it is a tragedy."
The case of Chris Wibeto is another tragedy. He died in August at Kaiser Santa Teresa in San Jose after receiving the wrong cancer medication.
At Kaiser Santa Clara, three patients died within the last year due to medical error.
Dr. Pearl wants people to keep in mind Kaiser Permanente serves 3.2 million members in Northern California.
Dr. Pearl: "So no, I don't think there is a problem at all. In fact, I really believe Kaiser Permanente is a national leader in patient safety and Kasier Santa Clara is a facility that is exceptional."
Dr. Pearl says he and his own family are treated at Kaiser Santa Clara.
Despite occasional human error, Dr. Pearl maintains Kaiser has aggressive systems in place to prevent deadly mistakes like his fathers.
Dr. Pearl: "Had he been as member of Kasier Permanente, he would be alive today."
To find out why Dr. Pearl says Kaiser is being unfairly singled out and what he's doing to prevent future medical mistakes, watch the entire, unedited interview by clicking on the Video link above.