New Jersey Governor Signs bill concerning Patient Safety


When a Patient goes in to the hospital, they expect and deserve to receive the proper medical care and attention. Most patients believe they will be better when they leave the hospital than when they came in to the hospital. Unfortunately, there have been many times where a patient comes in with one illness or problem and leaves with a new and different illness because of medical malpractice.  For example, otherwise healthy patients have been known to leave hospitals with factures, punctures, transfusion reactions, drama from birth and even surgery done in the wrong place. This has caused many patients much more worry and pain than before they entered a hospital.

 New Jersey is now one  of the first States to take action on this problem  In fact the Governor of New Jersey signed a bill yesterday, August 31, 2009 that will require the Department of Health and Human Services to report safety measures for patients on a hospital by hospital basis. This bill will also help protect patients from being charged for a hospital’s medical error.  This bill means that each hospital and all their procedures will be checked and reported on annually and then additional safety indicators may be regulated by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services. The Department of Heath and Senior Services will include the following patient safety indicators in their reports:

  • forgein body left during a procedure
  • post operative hip facture (a facture after surgery)
  • latrogenic pneumothorax
  • postoperative hemorrhage or hematoma
  •  postoperative deep vein thrombosis or pulmnary embolism
  • postoperative sepsis
  • postoperative wound hiscence
  •  accidental pucture or laceration
  • transfusion reaction
  • Obstetric trauma- vaginal delivery with instrument
  • Obstetric trauma- vaginal delivery without instrument
  • air embolism
  • surgery on the wrong side, wrong body part, or wrong person, or wrong surgery performed on a patient

This list consists of concerns and conditions that can happen to a patient if the hospital is not following safety regulations. Some of these are minor and some of them are very serious. Never the less, they are all very important are things that should “never” happen in a hospital. They are called the “never events” for this reason.

 The Commissioner may consider recommendations from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the Commissioner requesting studies from the Quality Improvement Advisory Committee on how to get public reports on patient infections, bed sores,  ulcers, or falls by patients while in hospital care. 

This bill signed by the Governor yesterday on August 31, 2009 is another step towards better patient rights and patient care. After all, when you enter a hospital as a patient you should know that you are getting the best care possible. If you are not, you should be able to fight for your right to better patient care and services.

If you feel that your rights have been violated under this new bill, contact a New Jersey Malpractice lawyer,  right away for help regarding your rights.

 For more information regarding this bill and your rights you may visit:

New Jersey State Legislature


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