Kennedy Urges Health Agency To Finalize Patient Safety Rules


Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) on Thursday sent a letter to HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt urging the agency to finalize rules to implement the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, Health Data Management reports.

Under the law, HHS would establish through certified patient safety organizations a network of databases to gather and analyze reports of medical errors and near-misses. HHS also would have to adopt standard formats for database reporting (Health Data Management, 10/18).

The databases are intended to help identify the causes of adverse events and develop methods to reduce errors in health care facilities, Modern Healthcare reports (DerGurahian, Modern Healthcare, 10/18). Under the law, any analysis of regional and national statistics and trends will be made public through annual reports (Health Data Management, 10/18).

In the letter, Kennedy said he was disappointed by the delay in the regulation review process, as well as by the department's slow response to a request he made more than four months ago to give him a timeline detailing progress on the act (Modern Healthcare, 10/18).

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