Proposed Bill Would Increase State Oversight of Hospitals, Require More Inspections
Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-San Jose) on Thursday said she would introduce legislation this week to increase state inspections at hospitals and make hospital safety records available on the Internet, the San Jose Mercury News reports.
Alquist, a member of the Senate Health Committee, said recent reports of four patient deaths caused by human error at two Kaiser Permanente hospitals prompted her to try to increase state oversight at hospitals.
The bill would require state inspectors to visit hospitals annually, compared to once every three years. It also would require negligence or medical errors to be reported within 48 hours, rather than "as soon as reasonably practical" under current law.
The bill would require state inspectors to investigate each incident and submit a report within 45 days. There currently is no time frame for reporting findings. Investigators' finding would be posted on the Internet to allow prospective patients and their families to compare information on hospital safety records.
Alquist said she intends to propose that increased hospital licensing fees be used to fund the increased and quicker inspections (Bailey, San Jose Mercury News, 1/13).