Some reporting is in order here. Reporters all over the country can begin to check up on their hospitals and find out how safe patients really are when an earthquake, a fire, flood, or tornado befalls their community. If it can’t get inspection reports from the state, how about drilling hospital officials the old-fashioned way, by asking questions and finding out exactly how vulnerable a hospital actually is. Raise questions, push officials—that’s what good reporting does. And while we’re at it, let’s keep pushing the states and The Joint Commission, a private, non-profit, unelected body that holds some of the keys to hospital safety, for more transparency in this life and death matter.

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Trudy Lieberman is a fellow at the Center for Advancing Health and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review. She is the lead writer for The Second Opinion, CJR’s healthcare desk, which is part of our United States Project on the coverage of politics and policy. Follow her on Twitter @Trudy_Lieberman.