Patient safety and quality improvement act introduced to Congress – Newsletter: web site address: www.aafp.org/afp

Patient safety and quality improvement act introduced to Congress – Newsletter: web site address: www.aafp.org/afp – Brief Article

Matthew Neff

A bill was introduced to Congress in June that would provide legal protection to health care professionals who voluntarily report nonidentifiable patient information for the purposes of quality improvement and patient safety. The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (S. 2590), introduced by Sen. James Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), classifies information documented, collected, or prepared for submission to a patient safety reporting system, as privileged and confidential, and creates federal protections against disclosure in civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings. The bill, which is supported by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), also requires patient safety organizations to create a mechanism of feedback for health care professionals reporting information to allow them to learn from the reported nonidentified information of others. “This legislation would create a system for reporting nonidentified patient safety information that focuses on preventing and correcting system failures and not on assigning individual or organizational blame,” said Richard G. Roberts, M.D., J.D., AAFP board chair. In this bill, patient safety responsibilities would be overseen by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

COPYRIGHT 2002 American Academy of Family Physicians

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group