The New Jersey Senate on Thursday unanimously approved a bill that would require hospitals to report preventable medical errors that either kill or seriously injure patients, but the legislation probably won't pass the lower house before the 2002-2003 legislative session ends Monday, an aide to sponsoring Sen. Joseph Vitale said Friday.
To obtain approval in New Jersey's General Assembly would require calling an emergency session, a "highly unlikely" prospect, according to Laurie Cancialos, Vitale's aide on healthcare legislation.
The bill, called the Patient Safety Act, has strong support in the Assembly, Cancialos says, as well as the backing of the New Jersey Hospital Association and Medical Society of New Jersey.
Vitale has pre-filed the bill for the new session, which begins Tuesday, and he hopes to have a hearing on it by the end of January, Cancialos says.
The bill also encourages hospitals to report near misses and mistakes that don't harm patients and would provide immunity from lawsuits for those lesser errors, but not for those that cause death or serious injury.