Back to Annual Meeting
Back to Annual Meeting
APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Patient Safety: The Role of Congress

Angela Mattie, MPH, JD, School of Business, Management Department, Quinnipiac University, 275 Mt Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518, 203 641-2630, angela.mattie@quinnipiac.edu

On July 29, 2005, President Bush signed into law the Patient Safety Quality Improvement Act. This long awaited bill came after significant debate in the Senate and the House. The Institute of Medicine's (IOM's) 1999 landmark report, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, brought the significance of patient safety issues to the national forefront and called for Congressional action. The IOM reported that health care errors represent the eight leading cause of death in the United States. Yet despite the significant costs associated with medical errors, it was six years after the first IOM report before Congress passed legislation in this area. Passage was thwarted partly due to disagreement on what role Congress should play and what were the fundamental principles required in federal patient safety legislation. This presentation examines the development of patient safety legislation. Explored are the competing stakeholders' positions, an analysis of the major issues requiring resolution prior to bill passage, and finally use of an actual case resulting in criminal conviction for nurses. This final assessment illustrates the potential impact patient safety legislation can have on changing the health care “culture of blame and shame” into a culture that promotes a non-punitive, learning environment that will lead to significant improvements in health care quality. This analysis of the development and eventual passage of patient safety legislation will illuminate the complex process of health policy development on Capitol Hill.

Learning Objectives:

  • At the conclusion of the session, the participant (learner) in this session will be able to

    Keywords: Policy/Policy Development, Quality Improvement

    Presenting author's disclosure statement:

    Any relevant financial relationships? No

    [ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

    Policy Innovations to Improve Health System Performance and Outcomes

    The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA