Federal requirements regarding the reporting of medical errors are apparently still open to interpretation. According to certain doctors, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 was passed to encourage physicians to report errors while at the same time be shielded from public disclosure of these errors. Yet certain states have issued court rulings that may disclose more information than these same physicians are comfortable with.
The federal government is planning to provide patients with the opportunity to report medical mistakes directly to them. Under the plan patients would be given a questionnaire that they can fill out and send back to the government whenever they are a victim of a medical mistake. The mistakes to be reported can be anything from a drug mistake, surgical error, infection or failure to properly diagnose or treat a condition. See http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/health/feds-want-patients-to-report-medical-provider-mistakes-654522.
Pennsylvania has spent a significant amount of time revamping its reporting requirements for hospital errors. However, according to a Department of Health and Human Services report (HHS), hospitals across the country are ignoring state requirements for reporting of errors where patients may have been harmed.