Las Vegas Sun

July 20, 2019

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Bill for more stringent health care reporting receives support

Sheila Leslie

Sheila Leslie

CARSON CITY — Hospitals and health care groups lined up Thursday in support of a bill to toughen Nevada law on public reporting of such events as patients contracting infections or suffering injuries in health care facilities.

The Senate Committee on Health and Human Services heard unanimous support for SB-264, but the sponsor of the bill said it needs more work before there is a vote.

Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, said some parts of the bill “go too far” and she will head a subcommittee working with the various groups to fashion new language.

Leslie said she had a relative who went in for a routine operation at a California hospital, appeared to be recovering and then died from an infection contracted in the hospital.

Bill Welch, president of the Nevada Hospital Association, said when an unexpected event occurs in a hospital, there is an “immediate intervention” and if there is a breakdown, steps are taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

The bill seeks to clear up the definitions in the law surrounding events in which patients suffer unforeseen infections, death or serious injury. The events are reported to the state Health Division, which will list the cases on its website.

The information will permit families to compare hospitals. There would also be reports, under the bill, of patients who return to the hospital if the readmission was preventable.

The committee heard testimony from Steve Winters, whose mother died last year after suffering from five infections. She was in three hospitals and the infections “were missed,” he said, adding that “the nurses were clueless.”

Winters complained about unsafe injection practices and said the bill would expose the problems in hospitals. “Let’s get it cleaned up,” he said.

The bill received support from the state Health Division, the 270,000-member Health Care Coalition and the Nevada Health Care Policy Group.

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