Report Title:



Requires health care providers to report medical errors to the department of health.


H.B. NO.












SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the prestigious Institute of Medicine in Washington has reported that there are roughly one million medical mistakes that are made each year in our nation's hospitals. Estimates by this same organization suggest that between forty-four thousand to ninety-eight thousand deaths occur in hospitals because of hospital errors. The Public Citizen's Health Research Group concludes that Hawaii ranks among the bottom ten states in the nation for pursuing disciplinary action against dangerous doctors.

Taking these statistics into consideration, it is important for patients to be informed of the statistics related to the number of injuries, diseases, and deaths that are caused by hospital negligence and errors. With this type of information readily available, patients will be able to choose the hospital that is both safe and will fit their personal health care needs. It is important that all hospitals in the State disclose the number of injuries, diseases, and deaths that occur in their hospitals each year as a result of malpractice and error.

The purpose of this Act is to require the department of health to develop a system for collecting and analyzing this information and issue public reports annually detailing the type and frequency of medical errors that occur in Hawaii hospitals. The department of health and health care providers should use this information to understand patterns of failure within the health care system and institute appropriate measures to reduce the number of medical errors that occur each year.

SECTION 2. Chapter 321, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"321- Medical errors prevention. (a) The department shall develop a system for collecting and analyzing data each year on the number of medical errors that occur in each health care facility that has been issued a certificate of need under chapter 323D.

(b) Each health care provider, as defined in section 327E-2, whose primary place of business is a health care facility that has been issued a certificate of need under chapter 323D, shall report all medical errors to the department within seventy-two hours of the occurrence of the event in a paper or electronic format to be developed by the department through its rules.

(c) The report submitted by each health care provider shall include at a minimum:

(1) The specific unit within the facility where the medical error occurred;

(2) The patient's age and gender;

(3) The patient's admitting diagnosis;

(4) Each of the patient's current or discharge diagnoses; and

(5) A short narrative description of the medical error.

(d) The department shall issue annual public reports that disclose information about the type and frequency of medical errors that have occurred in health care facilities in the State, in order to enable residents to make informed decisions about the selection of their health care provider. The reports shall assist the department and health care providers in understanding patterns of failure in the health care system, in order to recommend legislative solutions and to institute appropriate measures for reducing the number of medical errors that occur each year.

(e) For the purposes of this section, "medical error" means an event over which a health care provider could exercise control and that is associated in whole or in part with medical intervention, rather than the condition for which the intervention occurred, and that:

(1) Results in one of the following injuries:

(A) Death;

(B) Brain or spinal damage;

(C) Permanent disfigurement;

(D) Fracture or dislocation of bones or joints;

(E) A resulting limitation of neurological, physical, or sensory function that continues after discharge from the facility;

(F) Any condition that required specialized medical attention or surgical intervention resulting from non-emergency medical intervention, other than an emergency medical condition, to which the patient has not given informed consent; or

(G) Any condition that required the transfer of the patient, within or outside the facility, to a unit providing a more acute level of care due to the adverse incident, rather than the patient's condition prior to the adverse incident; or

(2) Was the performance of a surgical procedure on the wrong patient, a wrong surgical procedure, a wrong-site surgical procedure, or a surgical procedure otherwise unrelated to the patient's diagnosis or medical condition;

(3) Required the surgical repair of damage resulting to a patient from a planned surgical procedure, where the damage was not a recognized specific risk, as disclosed to the patient and documented through the informed-consent process; or

(4) Was a procedure to remove unplanned foreign objects remaining from a surgical procedure."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.