Greater Hospital Error Disclosure Requested By Conn AG

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today called for legislation requiring greater disclosure, investigative authority and increased civil penalties for medical errors at hospitals. (This is a press release but I TOTALLY agree with it CtWatchdog).

Blumenthal and Connecticut Center for Patient Safety Executive Director Jean Rexford testified along with people who lost spouses or experienced a medical error that will mark them and their families for a lifetime.

Senate Bill 248, An Act Concerning Adverse Events at Hospitals and Outpatient Surgical Centers, would require that the Department of Public Health (DPH) produce annual reports on adverse events in hospitals and surgical centers, including identifying the hospitals and centers where such events occur.

The bill would also require DPH to conduct random audits of health care facilities to determine compliance with the reporting requirements and to examine more closely reported adverse events.

The proposal would also protect employees and others from retaliation for reporting hospital failures to comply with the law.

“The current law is a deadly and disgraceful failure, shielding hospitals and surgical centers from scrutiny and accountability and leaving patients in the dark,” Blumenthal said. “Medical mistakes causing death and serious illness may go unreported, undisclosed and uninvestigated, undermining patient protection.

“Gaping legal loopholes keeping most hospital medical errors secret — including more than 116 that resulted in death between 2004 and present — are unconscionable and unacceptable.

“A prescription of public disclosure provides both cure and prevention from medical mistakes and a powerful incentive to hospitals and surgical centers to take the necessary, often simple and common-sense steps to forestall sometimes fatal errors.”

Rexford said, “This bill provides simple solutions that will help the health care consumer. Transparency and accountability are key components of this legislation.”

Currently, five states have passed laws requiring specific disclosure of adverse events — Colorado, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota and Washington.

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2 Comments on "Greater Hospital Error Disclosure Requested By Conn AG"

  1. Frank Spencer-Molloy | March 1, 2010 at 7:10 pm |

    Here’s a story that led the Boston Globe a couple of Sundays ago. The Globe has these stories all the time, The Courant rarely does. Why? Because Massachusetts for years has had a robust adverse-event reporting law. Connecticut residents labor under the misperception that their hospitals are oases of excellence, and that’s the way CT hospitals like it. Good luck to Blumenthal. This stuff has been tried for literally decades, but hospitals always win.

    • George Gombossy | March 1, 2010 at 8:02 pm |

      Thanks for taking the time to leave your helpful comment. Please come back any time, especially on these medical issues that I know you have a lot of expertise.

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