Senate Passes Bill Establishing HHS Patient Safety Database
The Senate on Thursday by voice vote approved a bill (S 544) that would establish a national patient safety database to encourage the reporting of medical errors, CQ Today reports (CQ Today, 7/21).
The measure, sponsored by Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.), would establish a legal framework to log error reports and develop an HHS database to catalog reports and identify trends. It also would provide new legal protections for new information in the patient safety reporting system. The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday approved a version of the bill (HR 3205) (California Healthline, 7/21).
The House and Senate bills were negotiated by Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chair Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.) and committee ranking member Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) "with the understanding that the legislation would not shield information now available to lawyers for use in court cases," CQ Today reports. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Joe Barton (R-Texas) said he expects the bill to quickly pass the House (CQ Today, 7/21).