EyeOnBI.org is part of an effort to return Beth Israel Deaconess to its founding principles and ensure that the administration is putting the interests of patients, workers and community members first. Read more

The staff at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center are clearly dedicated to providing the best possible quality of care. From doctors, to nurses, to lab technicians, to housekeepers, the BIDMC patient care team is made up of some of the hardest working, most conscientious caregivers in the world.
The first priority of every hospital administration should be high quality, compassionate patient care as well. The administration at BIDMC must address serious patient care issues immediately to restore the public’s confidence and ensure that the quality of leadership at BIDMC matches the high quality of care provided by healthcare workers.


Another Major Quality Breakdown at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

BIDMC again cited by state and federal health authorities for major errors.

Federal and state agencies have cited Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for three instances of wrong site spinal surgery over a two-month period beginning in September 2010. The surgeons apparently failed to correctly count the patients’ vertebrae, leaving one patient with pain and limited mobility. A full report from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is expected following BIDMC’s submission of a plan of correction, which is due January 7, 2011.

Boston Globe: Beth Israel erred in 3 spinal operations

Fox: Report: Boston Hospital Botched Spinal Surgeries

BIDMC’s Other Recent Major Quality Breakdowns:

August 8, 2010 2 biopsy errors result in an unnecessary surgery and delayed treatment
March 25, 2009 Doctor dozed during surgery, report says
April 10, 2009 Beth Israel faulted for staph outbreak in mothers, babies
July 3, 2008 Surgeon operates on patient's wrong side


BI suspends enrollment in cancer trials following data lapse

BIDMC suspended enrollment in cancer trials after an audit showed data documentation and reporting problems. Problems began to surface last summer, when federal regulators (the FDA) found that in one trial “[s]ome of the serious adverse events” experienced by patients were submitted to oversight authorities “later than required.”

 October 21, 2010 Cancer trials suspended for new patients


Joint Commission says BI needs improvement

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s most recent Joint Commission inspection report contained 21 instances in which standards were not met -- eight with a “direct impact” on patients.  Violations included the failure to reassess a patient’s pain for three and a half hours after medication was given and fire safety maintenance problems, including a locked fire exit door. The hospital must comply and take corrective action to meet “direct impact” standards within 45 days. Survey Accreditation Report

October 6, 2010 Beth Israel Deaconess posts inspection report


Major pathology error leads to another surgical mistake at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Hospital administration hopes to “arrive at a fair and equitable resolution’’ with a former patient after his prostate was removed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

According to the Boston Globe, 60-year-old Manuel Barros was wrongfully diagnosed him with prostate cancer in March and subsequently had his prostate removed leaving him with permanent and debilitating side effects after a major error by a BIDMC pathologist. Barros tells the Boston Globe that he was informed by his surgeon several days after the surgery that BIDMC had made “a big mistake” and that he did not have cancer.

Click here to read more about patient care issues at BIDMC.

August 2, 2010 Mistakes that matter


Stolen Laptop Leads to Potential Data Breach at BIDMC

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has contacted nearly 3,000 patients to notify them of a potential information breach after a laptop stolen from the University of California - San Francisco was recovered and it was discovered that it contained patient data placed there by a former BIDMC employee.

Were you notified? Share your story.

  Jan. 28, 2010: Laptop stolen from UCSF employee recovered

   Jan. 27, 2010: Stolen UCSF Laptop Contained Medical Data Of 4,400 Patients

   Jan. 27, 2010: Stolen UCSF Laptop Contained Confidential Info From 4400 Patients


Medicare Data Reveals “Revolving Door” of Readmission at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

BIDMC is the only hospital in Boston and one of only 15 in the nation with readmission rate worse than the national rate for heart attack, pneumonia, heart failure.

High readmission rates have been cited as undermining quality of care and driving up costs. Recently released Medicare data reveals that patients treated at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) are readmitted more often than the national rate for all three common conditions measured by Medicare.

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the state’s largest union of healthcare workers, has launched a public awareness campaign asking BIDMC for a formal corrective action plan.

See our print ads in the:


After call from 1199SEIU, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Physicians Group stops practice of charging late-night fees to patients

Until recently, patients being treated by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's physician group, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians (HMFP), were charged extra fees, simply for going to the emergency room after 10PM.

In September, the healthcare workers of 1199SEIU launched a public awareness campaign to shed light on the practice -- and to ask BIDMC and HMFP to refund the money to patients -- including those who were charged at affiliates Nashoba Valley Medical Center, Milton Hospital, Saint Vincent Hospital and BID-Needham.

The next day, Milton Hospital announced that it had stopped charging patients the additional fee for being seen after 10PM and would refund anyone who had been charged the late-night fee. And then, Harvard Medical Faculty Physicians announced that it was dropping "late night" fees charged to ER patients at the five Massachusetts hospitals. read more


Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Revolving Door:

Only Boston Hospital with readmission rate for three common conditions higher than national average

As the debate over healthcare rages in Washington, the Obama Administration and members of Congress have cited high numbers of hospital readmissions as a drain on health care resources. According to a report in the Boston Globe, a recent study conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that patients who visited Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center were more likely than the national average to be readmitted for three common conditions: heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia. BIDMC was the only hospital in Boston to have readmission rates higher than the national average for all three common conditions -- BIDMC's highest readmission rate was 27.5 percent for heart failure.

No other hospital in Boston and only 15 hospitals nationally scored worse than the U.S. national rate on all three measures.

July 9, 2009: “Medicare posts data on hospital readmissions,”


Botched Surgery

EyeOnBI.org has compiled documents related to the Hicks case to give the public the opportunity to decide how seriously the administration of Beth Israel Deaconess takes it’s commitment to “transparency and honesty” - or whether they engaged in a cover up.

 March 25, 2009: Repercussions for Sleeping Surgeon
A plastic surgeon at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center fell asleep during surgery last June, and no senior hospital administrators interfered even though a nurse reported the doctor's erratic behavior, a Massachusetts health department investigation of the case found. The Boston Globe says the hospital has fired the surgeon, Dr. Loren J. Borud, and the state has temporarily suspended his license.

 March 25, 2009: State Faults Boston Hospital for Handling of Surgery Patient
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center doctor gave poor care to a patient and that the hospital didn’t do an adequate job of training personnel to report impaired doctors, according to the Boston Globe.

 March 25, 2009: Doctor dozed during surgery, report says

 August 3, 2008: Patient Left in Dark After Odyssey; Lawsuit Outlines Nightmare Surgery at Beth Israel
Synopsis: A patient reportedly endured a nearly seven hour surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess that should have taken only 90 minutes. After the surgery, the patient suffered significant complications, including chills, pain and bleeding. BIDMC allegedly waited weeks before informing the patient that his surgeon had fallen asleep twice during the procedure. The patient reports having received no apology. Read the lawsuit

 July 20, 2008: Cosmetic Doc Fired for ‘Impairment’: Two Other Beth Israel Allegations Date Back to ’01.


Strip Search Lawsuit

Beth Israel Settles Lawsuit by Woman Who Claims She Was Forcibly Strip-searched.
A woman was forcibly strip-searched by five male security guards after seeking care at the Beth Israel Deaconess Emergency Room. Her subsequent lawsuit for discrimination has recently been settled, and the hospital’s mandatory clothing removal policy has been changed. The plaintiff was represented by lawyers from two public-interest groups and from a private Boston law firm. The Bazelon Center, which is one of the public-interest groups, reports that the court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the agreement for two years.

March 10, 2009: Patient and Hospital Settle ADA Challenge to Mandatory Clothing-Removal Policy

March 11, 2009: Hospital Settles Suit Over Woman's Strip Search

March 10, 2009: Woman Forcibly Stripped by Male Guards Settles ADA Lawsuit

June 6, 2006: Woman Files Suit in Forced Strip Search; Her rights were violated at medical center, she says
Synopsis: An elderly woman with a history of sexual abuse was strip searched by five male security guards in BIDMC's emergency department, even after a clothed pat-down found no evidence of a safety risk.

Read the lawsuit.
Read the ruling by a medical tribunal that the patient's raises a "legitimate question of liability."