(2010), "USA - Governor Corzine signs law on hospital error reporting", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 23 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2010.06223aab.004Download as .RIS
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USA - Governor Corzine signs law on hospital error reporting
Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 23, Issue 1
Keywords: Patients, Safety, Hospitals
Governor Jon S. Corzine signed the measure, which requires hospitals to report publicly on their performance in patient-safety areas, including serious medical errors.
The bill also prevents hospitals from requiring patients to pay for serious medical errors.
“This is a major victory for consumer protection in New Jersey”, said Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney, D-GloucEster, who was among the legislation’s sponsors.
“Hospital-specific reporting will improve patient safety”, added another sponsor, Assemblyman Herb Conaway, D-Burlington.
Patient-safety details now will appear in an annual report on hospitals prepared by the state Department of Health and Senior Services.
The measures include such specifics as surgery on the wrong body part, objects left inside patients, and injuries from post-surgery falls.
Sweeney noted patient-safety indicators “already are collected by the industry and the state. It’s time that we share this information with the public, to let them make the best decisions possible and control their own healthcare destiny”.
The state review, to be released for the first time later this year, will report numbers and rates of “adverse events“ at each hospital. It also will offer statewide and national comparisons, officials said.
“Patients and families have a right to know which hospitals have the higher and lowest error rates so they can compare and make responsible healthcare choices”, said Assemblyman Paul Moriarty, D-Washington Township.
Nationwide, excess charges due to preventable medical errors exceed $9 billion a year, observed Sy Larson, president of AARP New Jersey, which supports the new law.
Last fall, Gov. Corzine created a Hospital Reporting Work Group to develop a reporting strategy that built on patient safety legislation proposed in the state Legislature, his office noted.
Participants in the group included representatives of AARP, the New Jersey Hospital Association, and the Health Professionals and Allied Employees Union.
“We know that public reporting of hospital performance improves quality”, said Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard. Similar reporting standards have produced “dramatic decreases in cardiac surgery deaths”, she said.
The Hospital Performance Report monitors how well hospitals treat heart attack, pneumonia and heart failure patients, and how well they prevent surgical infections
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