Josie’s Story Adds New Angle to Health Care Reform

‘Josie’s Story’ Featured on ‘Today’

This morning on “Today,” Matt Lauer interviewed Sorrel King, author of the book “Josie’s Story.” Josie was Sorrel King’s 18-month-old daughter, who died in the hospital in 2001 because of the hospital staff’s errors.

Sorrel King’s book, “Josie’s Story: A Mother’s Inspiring Crusade to Make Medical Care Safe,” just came out earlier this month. It is available on Amazon for $16.32. “Josie’s Story” is a good read, according to critics, and an excellent example of a mother channeling her grief and anger into helping a good cause.

Shift in focus on health care

“Josie’s Story” also reminds us that when it comes to health care reform, the cost and potential tax debt associated with medical insurance aren’t the only important issues to consider. The health care system in the U.S. needs more than financial overhaul — it needs quality overhaul as well.

On “Today,” when discussing “Josie’s Story,” Matt Lauer said that 98,000 deaths per year are caused by medical errors. That’s almost 100,000 Americans per year dying because of mistakes.

How to prevent mistakes

When Josie King died, her mother chose to create positive change instead of sinking into despair.

When Josie King died, her mother chose to create positive change instead of sinking into despair.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC’s chief medical editor, was in on the discussion of “Josie’s Story” on “Today.” She said the most important message is that medical professionals need to listen to mothers, who have instincts regarding their children, “and everyone needs to communicate better.”

Of course, there is no way to prevent every mistake from happening. However, through the Josie King Foundation, Sorrel King has fought to have more procedures put in place in hospitals for more careful observation and communication.

Josie King Foundation programs

Thanks to Sorrel King’s work, new programs have been put in place at hospitals, such as the Care Journal program. The Josie King Foundation web site says “The Care Journal has thirty daily journal entries. Each entry consists of prompts that take the guesswork out of what information to remember.” Patients and loved ones of patients keep the Care Journal daily, and the purpose is to bridge the gap in communication between patients and caregivers.

Another program is Condition Help, which sets up a rapid response procedure for patients or families who feel they are not receiving adequate medical attention or have an immediate concern. During Josie’s stay in the hospital, Sorrel many times felt concern and talked to medical staff, but there was no system in place for responding to her concerns.

Watch video of ‘Josie’s Story’ discussion on ‘Today’

You can view the segment on “Today” about “Josie’s Story” using the ‘Today’ show video player. You can also read a description of the book “Josie’s Story” at the Josie King Foundation web site, where you can also read more about the foundation’s programs.

You can make a tax-deductible donation online or get the address to mail a check at the web site. There is also a system set up for people to donate stock to the Josie King Foundation.

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