NU Online News Service, June 6, 6:05 p.m. — Washington
Health insurers and employers are applauding a federal bill aimed at encouraging the reporting of medical errors by easing fears of litigation.
The bill, S. 2590, would provide legal protection for information on medical errors reported voluntarily for the purposes of quality improvement and patient safety. This means that the information provided could not be used as the basis for malpractice lawsuits.
One of the chief sponsors of the bill, Sen. Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a physician, says in a statement that enacting the bill would foster an open, collaborative environment, encouraging health professionals to share information freely and analyze it thoroughly.
“Health care providers should not be punished for trying to learn from their mistakes, reduce medical errors, and improve the quality of care they deliver to patients,” Frist says.
Other sponsors of S. 2590 include Sens. John Breaux, D-La., Jim Jeffords, I-Vt., and Judd Gregg, R-N.H.