Statement of NYS Senator Thomas K. Duane
RE: Medical Error and Adverse Event
Reporting in Hospitals

July 27, 2009

As chair of the New York State Senate Health Committee, patient safety is a primary concern of mine. The report in Sunday's New York Daily News, which echoes recent findings by New York City Comptroller William Thompson, points to inadequate oversight of hospitals' compliance with the New York Patient Occurrence and Tracking System, the state's system by which hospitals are meant to report adverse events.

This is a wake-up call to all of us

I will be holding hearings across the state to better understand what is working well in our hospitals, and what contributes to the breakdown in our mandatory reporting system. Health care reform in New York State will only be successful if the institutions providing care honestly report their activities, both good and bad. It is critical that the Department of Health use its oversight capabilities to ensure that the system works the way it is designed, to improve the quality of care at our hospitals and to protect patients obtaining needed health care services.

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