Illinois Medical Error Reporting Law set to be Implemented

Ten years ago a report stated medical mistakes kill up to 98,000 Americans yearly. In 2005, Illinois legislators finally decided to do something and passed a measure requiring hospitals to report the deadliest kind. However, the law has yet to be implemented and it still won’t be for at least another year. There are glimmers of progress. This includes recent launch of a related state Web site that tracks hospital infection rates and staff levels, and the imminent start of a search for a vendor to help put the law in place. The proposed medical malpractice law will require hospitals to publicly report so-called “never” mistakes. These medical errors are mostly preventable with potentially life-threatening consequences. One example is the wrong-knee surgery one victim says Chicago-area doctors performed on him last year. There was also the woman who had a forgotten sponge left inside her during a breast tumor surgery. With the law fully in place, hospitals will be required to report major medical errors within 30 days to the state’s public health department. This law needs to be implemented so that hospitals and doctors can learn form the misses and near-misses of others. To see what other changes will be made with the medical malpractice law, please click the link.

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