Bill Would Require Medical Error Disclosure
A bill (SB 1301) by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) would require hospitals to report medical errors directly to the Department of Health Services within 48 hours in an effort to improve patient safety, the Sacramento Bee reports. DHS would be required to post the information publicly on a Web site, according to the legislation.
Alquist's office estimates there are an average of five to 10 deaths because of medical errors at each hospital annually.
The bill would require state inspections of hospitals annually. Currently, state inspections occur once every three years. In addition, the bill would reduce from six months to 45 days the amount of time the state has to respond to complaints about hospital care.
The California Hospital Association opposes the bill but would support legislation if the public data did not list specific hospitals and if the information could not be used as evidence in a lawsuit, according to Debby Rogers, vice president for quality and patient safety at CHA.
The administration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has not taken an official position on the legislation, a spokesperson said (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 4/16).