Lisa McGiffert is the former Director of Consumers Union Safe Patient Project, a project of Consumer Reports. This national project worked 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 due to this highly successful campaign, most states and Medicare require this infection reporting. Other policy work has included improving consumer information available about disciplined doctors on medical board websites; an agency petition and legislation in CA to require doctors to inform their patients when on probation; seeking to reduce antibiotic resistant infections and antibiotic overuse; and working to improve medical device safety by seeking to modify the FDA 510(k) process; and calling on hip/knee implant makers to warranty their products.
McGiffert’s leadership includes collaboration with individuals who have experienced medical harm and their loved ones. For more than a decade, they collectively worked with the Safe Patient Project as a national network to change and improve patient safety policies. Individual activists work on local, state and national patient safety efforts, serve on advisory committees, and write and speak on health care safety. The Safe Patient Project provided a communications network, technical support, and convened group meetings. In 2018, this group formed the Patient Safety Action Network, a national coalition of patient activists.
McGiffert routinely lends the consumer voice on patient safety issues at conferences, with the media and on state and national advisory committees. In 2015, she was listed on Modern Healthcare’s 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, 2017 and 2018, she was named by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of 50 experts leading the field of patient safety. In 2018, she was awarded the Lewis Blackman Patient Advocate award, the Peggy Lillis Foundation Advocate Award, and named a “Hero of the Week” in September 2018 by The Bleeding Edge documentary Film.
From 1991-2003, McGiffert directed advocacy efforts for Consumers Union 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 Consumer Reports, 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.