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ACP-ASIM Pressroom

ACP-ASIM Supports Sens. Frist And Jeffords' Patient Safety Bill

June 15, 2000

National Desk, Health Care Reporter

WASHINGTON, June 15 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM) has issued a statement of support for the Patient Safety and Errors Act introduced today by Senators Jim Jeffords (R-Vt.) and Bill Frist (R-Tenn.).

"This legislation will make an important contribution to improving patient safety," said ACP-ASIM President Sandra Adamson Fryhofer, MD, FACP. "Internists are especially pleased by the non-punitive and confidential nature of the legislation. This is the best way to create a culture of safety where the goal is to prevent errors before they occur."

Patient safety legislation should encourage health care professionals and organizations to submit healthcare error reports to public or private oversight organizations, accrediting bodies, an official compendium body, or other generally recognized patient safety reporting programs, according to Dr. Fryhofer. Confidentiality protections for patients, health care professionals, and health care organizations are also essential to the ability of any reporting system to learn about errors and help prevent them.

Dr. Fryhofer stressed that information developed in connection with reporting systems should be privileged for purposes of Federal and State judicial proceedings in civil matters, and for purposes of Federal and State administrative proceedings, including with respect to discovery, subpoenas, testimony, or any other form of disclosure.

"It's time to end the era of finger pointing and evasion as a substitute for a patient safety program that saves lives and prevents injuries," said Dr. Fryhofer. "This legislation is a good first step in improving patient safety through the use of proven scientific methodologies."

ACP-ASIM is the nation's largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group. Membership comprises more than 115,000 internal medicine physicians and medical students. Internists are the major providers of medical care to adults in America and treat more Medicare patients than any other medical specialists.

Contact

Jack E. Pope, 202-261-4556

Page updated: 11-03-03

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