Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) introduced a bill to create a national medical-errors reporting system similar to proposals approved by House committees earlier this month. Under both Kennedy's bill and the House proposals, providers would voluntarily submit data on medical errors and patient safety to new patient-safety organizations, which would compile and disseminate the information. All the proposals include protections for workers reporting errors and would not override stricter state laws. However, unlike the House bills, Kennedy's would provide grants for hospitals to implement technology that can improve patient safety. Separately, Kennedy introduced legislation to protect human research subjects in response to an Institute of Medicine report recommending several revisions to federal law. Among other steps, Kennedy's bill would establish a central office to amend rules for subject protection. -- by Jeff Tieman
Kennedy introduces patient safety, research bills
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