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The Bleeding Edge Hero of the Week: Lisa McGiffert

By September 18, 2018Uncategorized

“It would be great if the regulators of hospitals and doctors were more diligent about responding to harm to patients, but they’re not, so people have turned to other people…This is what happens when your system of oversight is failing patients.”

—Lisa McGiffert

Named one of Modern Healthcare’s “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare,” Lisa McGiffert has spent her career, and now her retirement, fighting for patient safety. She was most recently the Director of Consumer Union’s Safe Patient Project, advocating on an array of patient safety issues, including preventing medical errors, and improving the safety of medical care and devices. Prior to Consumer Union, McGiffert analyzed policy and legislation for the Health and Human Services Committee for the Texas State Legislature. One of her biggest priorities was the development and implementation of a state health and human services policy.

McGiffert is a relentless advocate who has helped push forward patient safety laws across the country. In 2003 she started a campaign to encourage states to require hospitals to report hospital infections. Thirty states have since adopted the policy, and now Medicare, the country’s largest insurer, has adopted infection rate disclosure legislation as well.

McGiffert is passionate about patient safety and incorporating patient’s voices into the decision-making and approval processes. She advocates to have patients present at FDA committees and hearings, as this promotes effective patient safety measures. Now that McGiffert is retired, she is heavily involved in with the Patient Safety Action Network (PSAN) leadership committee, a national coalition of patient advocates focused on promoting transparency and accountability as a vehicle to safer healthcare. To mark Patient Safety Day, which was celebrated on July 25, she authored a blog to educate consumers about PSAN’s List of Top Patient Safety Opportunities relating to medical devices safety.

“The Bleeding Edge” filmmakers are grateful for Lisa McGiffert’s pioneer patient safety initiatives, and champion her role in fostering a coalition of patients, their caregivers, and activists and its immense impact in the medical device safety movement.