Ten years ago, the landmark study stated that medical mistakes kill up to 98,000 Americans a year. In 2005, the Illinois legislators decided to address this problem and passed a measure requiring hospitals to report the deadliest kind. However, the law has yet to be implemented into the Illinois legal system. State budget woes and foot-dragging by special interests are among the reasons cited for the long delay. Currently, there is hope that the legislation will pass. There was a recent launch of a related website that tracks hospital infection rates and staff levels. The law will require hospitals to publicly report so-called “never” mistakes. These are mostly preventable errors with potentially life-threatening consequences. When the medical error legislation is fully in place, hospitals will be required to report major medical errors within 30 days to the state’s public health department. One of the most common major errors is leaving surgical sponges inside patients. It is unlikely that the medical malpractice legislation won’t take effect until 2011. If you would like to learn more about the new health care legislation, please click the link.