Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hey, UPMC. Don't forget to block the web sites, too!

Yes, in America.  Steve Twedt at the Post-Gazette reports:

Some UPMC hospitals are banning the Post-Gazette from sale in their gift shops, a move UPMC spokesman Paul Wood said was precipitated by “fairness issues” in the newspaper’s coverage of the health system.

At least three UPMC hospitals -- UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Mercy and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC -- say they will no longer sell the newspaper.

Twice in recent years, UPMC executives have canceled the health giant’s advertising in the PG, citing dissatisfaction with the way UPMC was covered in the news pages and how it was portrayed in editorials and editorial cartoons.

''The Post-Gazette is edited without regard to any special interest, and our news columns are not for sale, at any price,'' said John Robinson Block, publisher of the newspaper. ''We have been here since 1786, and have as our purpose the same goal that UPMC was established for -- to serve the public's interest, not a narrow purpose.''

Post-Gazette Circulation Director Randy Waugaman said this week that PG delivery staff members were told by gift shop workers at UPMC Shadyside, UPMC Mercy and Children’s Hospital that they would not display the paper for sale.

“Our people tried to reason with them,'' Mr. Waugaman said, ''but the gift shop personnel said that they were ordered to do so by their superiors and it was out of their control.”

I wonder. Does UPMC also block the Post-Gazette internet sites on their server? I hear that works well in China and North Korea.


Anonymous said...

Not surprising. Sentara pays for ads in the Virginian Pilot. Is there one word about some items going on there? No. Do reporters accept the stories about care issues, administrative issues, doctors who's behavior should be put at the front to ask why it is acceptable, the links to the State Medical Board, etc?

No. Check out David Baker and answersforlisa, the blog, and you'll see how newspapers are questionable when there are conflicts between business and the public's right to know.

You should do a story on this. I hold you up as a decent CEO who they should follow.

Paul Levy said...

A letter to the editor of the PG:

Since I am one of those patients affected by the UPMC/​Highmark fight, I am now afforded a way to fight back.

Whenever I am at the Hillman Cancer Center or another UPMC site for testing and checkups, I am going to leave my subscription copy of the Post-Gazette for others. Trust me, there is so much sitting around waiting, people will pick up the newspaper to read, and it has already been paid for.

I have had a subscription since 1973.

Roy M Poses MD said...

I wouldn't be surprised if UPMC gets around to blocking these websites.

A few years ago, I was visiting a patient in the hospital. I had some free time, so turned on my computer, signed onto the free hospital internet for visitors, and tried to access my own blog, Health Care Renewal ( I couldn't. Thinking there was a general access problem I tried to access other sites. I could easily get to general news sites, and general health blogs.

But I couldn't get to my blog, or other blogs that were critical of the health care status quo. I found that the hospital internet seemed linked to a system that blocked "objectionable" sites.

I thought about following up on this, but never got around to it. But I wouldn't be surprised if many hospitals subscribe to such blocking software, and the hospital version may block not only traditionally objectionable content, but content the hospital management might find personally obejctionable.

Maybe someone can try in the local wi-fi at UPMC and see what happens.

beverly said...

This is remarkably petty and juvenile behavior.

Bob said...

Corporatization is an affliction that needs a vaccine.

I still maintain that business schools need a code of ethics and a pledge. Is business a profession? They have professional schools, but without a code of ethics, they cannot be a profession, I'd say. Even police take an oath. Even politicians take an oath. Not business! And yet here they are bossing all those professionals who do have a code of ethics, who do take an oath. What an inversion! It's headed for trouble, there's no way around it.

Tom said...

We are so screwed. Ban a newspaper because it says true but not nice things about your hospital.

Carole said...

I honestly thought some of you would of felt differently. (Like an M.D. or a CEO, And it being a hospital) The posts as good and great as most of them are, the comments are as equally interesting. I appreciate different opinions and with an open mind learn something from each and everyone of you. Some of the post are over my head and way out of my league, so I don't dare comment but I've wanted to ask a question here and there so bad, but out of fear of it probably being a dumb question I didn't! But Thanks for teaching me something new and important almost everyday, and your opinions do matter and make a difference.