26 November 2005

Welcome to the Seattle Children's Hospital Parents Network

As a father of former, current, and future patients of Seattle Children's Hospital, it is critically important to me that the Hospital provide high quality care. The quality standard must be comparable to standards that we have come to expect in other organizations we deal with, not the current inadequate standards deemed acceptable in the healthcare industry.

If the medical error rate my family has experienced at Seattle Children's was something you had experienced with your bank statement, credit card statement, meal order at a restaurant, quality of your new car, or any other product or service...well, you would have demanded a correction or taken our business elsewhere. As parents at Seattle Children's, we will not always be as aware of the quality problems as we would be with our bank, our restaurant or our car, yet these problems may be occurring on a regular basis with our children. And we don't have the luxury of shopping for an alternative, nor does Seattle Children's have the luxury of deciding whether to fix the problem. Both parties are in a mandatory situation.

I invite you to join me in working constructively with the management team at Children's to remedy these errors in a timeframe that we all expect - now. Not next year, not upon further study, not as a "high priority" - now. I will be making daily posts to this blog to update you on issues with our current inpatient, our daughter Hunter, and the progress of my discussions with the management team at Seattle Children's. I urge you to add to this blog, contact Seattle Children's CEO - Tom Hansen - directly, or contact me at fred@fredwhittlesey.com to get involved.

This is a fixable problem that has been tolerated for far too long. We cannot fix the US healthcare system today, or even all hospitals in the Seattle area, but we can, and will, fix the one that is critical for our childrens' well-being.