Las Vegas Sun

January 20, 2019

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Hospital infection disclosure bills gaining support

Sun Coverage

CARSON CITY – A package of bills to require hospitals and other medical facilities to expand their reporting of infections acquired by patients under their care appears to be gaining support.

“These have a good chance of moving forward,” said Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, whose Senate Subcommittee on Health and Human Services heard testimony Monday on five bills to open more information for patients to learn about hospital and medical facility infection rates, unexpected deaths and serious injury.

One bill would require hospitals and surgical centers to report the names of physicians who perform surgery, the types of surgery and principal diagnosis. The information would be posted on the Internet by the state.

Barry Gold of AARP in Nevada told the committee: “People need to know the surgery and who’s doing it.”

Steve Winters, referring to the total package of bills, said patients need to know the infection rate before they go to a hospital. He referred to a series in the Las Vegas Sun that detailed infections at Southern Nevada hospitals.

The subcommittee is going to hold one more session before making its recommendations. Still to be worked out is a clearer definition of a “sentinel event” that needs to be reported to the state and some changes in the language.

Bobbette Bond of Nevada Health Care Policy Group said it must be clear what adverse events must be recorded.

One bill, Senate Bill 339, would require medical facilities to provide patients its infection rate and post the information in a public area. They would be required annually to prepare a patient safety plan.

Hospitals or medical facilities, under Senate Bill 264, would be required to report the total number of patients discharged and who were later readmitted related to the original treatment. Nursing homes would be included on those reporting infection rates.

Hospitals generally accepted the major thrust of the bills but advocated some change in the language in certain measures.

Leslie said the subcommittee was “halfway there” in putting the final touches on the bills, which she called “a giant step forward in medical care.”

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