RI lawmakers propose medical error tracking system

Rhode Island lawmakers have introduced a bill that would create a system tracking medical mistakes and near misses, spurred in part by incidents in which brain surgeons at Rhode Island Hospital operated on the wrong side of patients' heads three separate times. Right now, the state Department of Health requires hospitals and nursing homes to report major mistakes, but not near-misses, information that could be used to drive improvements before patients are harmed.

The bill would create a Rhode Island Patient Safety Organization, which would be tasked with finding the causes of medical errors at hospital and nursing home, then making recommendations for change. Under the terms of the bill, the system would be voluntary, and clinicians wouldn't be punished for reporting mistakes to the new organization.

To find out more about the bill:
- read this article from The Boston Globe

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