The New Jersey Senate is scheduled to vote again Thursday on a bill to create an anonymous, statewide Internet-based medical errors reporting network.
That body passed the same bill Jan. 8, near the end of the last legislative session, but the session ended two days later before the measure could reach the House for a vote.
Laurie Cancialos, legislative aide to state Sen. Joseph Vitale, said the Patient Safety Act passed the state Senate's Health and Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee on Jan. 26.
"It should be put to a full vote in the Senate and in the House by the end of February," Cancialos said. "We're hoping by March to have this done."
The bill would require hospitals to report preventable medical errors that kill or seriously injure patients and encourages them to report near misses and mistakes that don't harm patients. The proposed law would provide immunity from lawsuits for hospitals that report these lesser medical errors through the network. The protections would not extend to errors that kill or seriously injure patients, however.
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services would receive and analyze the reported errors to find patterns and report warnings to prevent future mistakes.
The department is anticipating passage of the legislation, which has the backing of the New Jersey Hospital Association and Medical Society of New Jersey.
Doctors would be able to log into the state network and file a report about a medical error online, Cancialos said.