NJ mandating fuller hospital error disclosures

August 30, 2009 8:16:37 AM PDT
New Jersey hospitals will soon have to make public more detailed information on medical errors. The legislation - which also bars hospitals from charging insurers or patients for procedures to correct certain medical mistakes or hospital-acquired conditions - is due to be signed into law Monday by Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

The measure requires the Health and Senior Services Department to publish how often certain egregious errors - such as operating on the wrong body part or leaving a sponge or instrument inside a patient's body - occur at each hospital.

Health care facilities already report preventable medical mistakes, but the state has published only the number of errors, not the data for individual hospitals.