California working to reduce medical errors at hospitals

In 2007, California passed a law requiring hospitals to report medical errors. Preventable medical errors can raise the cost of healthcare by leading to expensive corrective surgery, malpractice lawsuits and settlements.  Hospitals say that not all mistakes reported to the state are their fault, and are working with the Department of Public Health for a final review to determine if some of them are non-hospital related.  Hospitals can be fined if they are found to be at fault.

(Sources: HCPro Patient Safety Monitor Alert,, March 17, 2010; LA Times,, March 15, 2010)