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Lisa McGiffert directs Consumers Union’s Safe Patient Project (SPP). Consumers Union is the policy arm of Consumer Reports. This national campaign works on state and federal policies to end medical harm, focusing on healthcare-acquired infections, medical device safety, medical errors, and physician accountability. Beginning in 2003, the campaign developed a model law and initiated state laws to publish hospital infection rates and raise public awareness about the problem. Today because of this highly successful campaign, more than 30 states and the federal Medicare program require such reporting of all US hospitals. The campaign works improve the safety of implantable medical devices by requiring clinical evidence for safety and by improving post market surveillance and has called on companies to warranty their hip and knee implants.
Consumer Reports and SPP are currently collaborating on improving consumer information available about disciplined doctors (including requiring doctors on probation for serious reasons – such as sexual misconduct, gross negligence and substance abuse – to inform their patients) and antibiotic resistant infections and antibiotic overuse.
McGiffert’s leadership includes collaboration with individuals who have personal experiences with medical harm. Collectively they have created a national consumer activist network to make health care safer. These activists work on local, state and national patient safety efforts, serve on advisory committees, and frequently write about health care safety. SPP provides the communications network and technical support, convenes group meetings and works to help them participate in conferences and policy meetings.
McGiffert is a leading national consumer voice on patient safety issues at conferences and with the media. She has participated on many state and national advisory committees, and serves on the National Quality Forum Patient Safety Committee, the ACA created Measure Application Partnership (2012-2016), and as the consumer liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee.
In 2015, McGiffert was named by Modern Healthcare as one of the 100 Most Influential People in HealthCare and was given the Ben Shimberg Award by the Citizens Advocacy Center for her work on physician accountability. In 2016 she was named by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 50 experts leading the field of patient safety.
From 1991-2003, McGiffert directed CU advocacy efforts on the full array of health issues in Texas including access to care, health system reform, health insurance, physician and hospital regulation and measuring quality of care. Prior to joining CU, Lisa was a policy analyst for the Texas Senate Committee on Health and Human Services where, for seven years, she was actively involved in the development and implementation of state policies.
McGiffert has a BA in psychology from Midwestern State University, Texas.