Gov. Donald Carcieri has signed the Rhode Island Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2008, creating a patient-safety organization, or PSO, that will work to reduce preventable medical errors, according to a new release.
The PSO, which will function under the state health department, will establish specific patient-safety goals and will be authorized to investigate medical-error reports submitted by healthcare facilities, providers and payers. The organization will also issue annual reports on patient-safety initiatives and meet with hospital administrators and clinicians to address safety concerns.
Though Rhode Island already requires mandatory reporting of medical errors by healthcare facilities, the new PSO is designed to encourage providers and insurers to voluntarily and confidentially report incidents, according to the release.
PSO funding will come through a patient-safety surcharge shared by hospitals, nursing homes, insurers and other reporting agencies. The organizations annual budget will be capped at $600,000. -- by Shawn Rhea