San Mateo County Supervisors Approve New Regulations for Reporting Medical Errors
The San Mateo Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously voted to adopt more "aggressive" regulations for reporting medical errors at San Mateo Medical Center, the San Mateo County Times reports. The new rules will require any medical errors that result in death or serious injury to be reported within 24 hours to the county manager, who would inform the board after consulting with the county's attorneys.
Under the current system, supervisors learn about hospital errors after a hospital review of the case, which can be up to several weeks after the error occurs.
The new regulations also would require the CEO of SMMC to write a semi-annual report of the facility's medical errors and any improvements the hospital has made in response to those mistakes.
Some physicians were concerned the report would violate patient privacy, but SMMC CEO Nancy Steiger said it will be written in such as way to protect individuals' identities (Ernde, San Mateo County Times, 7/27).