CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
Our Legislative Agenda for 2010 March 2010


Another legislative year is before us.  We have a lot of very positive and compelling bills that we are actively supporting.  All of them address transparency and accountability -  the keystones to improving patient safety.
Our hearings start on Monday March 1st.  A press conference is scheduled for 11 and the growing number of organiztions and supporters is energizing.
Please call me if you need updates and I will try to keep our blog and website updated daily.  This newsletter spells out four bills that we feel are very important.  Please let me know if you want to be a part of our effort this year or if there is one bill that particularly interests you.

  Senate Bill 222
Senator McDonald has consistently worked with our membership, representing our interests with the Department of Public Health.  The bill would allow a person who had filed a complaint a great role and access to  information about the status of the complaint, and notice of the final outcome.  Another common sense and simple solution.  So many members have gotten letters stating "After a thorough investigation, we have found that the standard of care has been met."  Now we will be able to find out more about that investigation and make further comment.

Quick Links
CT General Assembly web site
Dear Member:
Just two days ago, Rory Freeman died.  When he was just 37 years old, and his kids were eight and three, Rory fell and hurt his back. A neurosurgeon performed the wrong type of surgery, operated on the wrong spinal levels and failed to relieve spinal cord compression.  Rory suffered a lifetime of disability and excruciating pain.  Rory and his wife Lisa have been  long time supporters of CTCPS. 
We are family.  What has harmed one of us, has harmed all of us.  As we begin to work on patient safety issues during this legisltive session, we will keep both Rory and Bill Tyra, who died last month, in our minds.  Their determination should be ours.
Rory Freeman, age 55 of Easton, died on Thursday, February 25, 2010 after years of medical complications following spinal cord injury.  Rory had a never ending thirst for knowledge and a desire to share what he knew with anyone who would listen. His interests were as eclectic as his personality and ever-lasting sense of humor. Rory is survived by his wife, Lisa; his children, Kimberly and Ryan.

Memorial Contributions can be made in Rory's memory to:


        Connecticut Center for Patient Safety

          PO Box 231335

          Hartford, CT  06123

Senate Bill 270
 We are trying again.  This bill would restrict the gifts provided to health care workers.   While I believe a gift ban is far better, our legislature is worried about any bill that might cost jobs.  Pharmaceutical sales reps, deli and restaurant owners argue that if the free lunch was banned, they would cost jobs.  We have conceded this point - this can have their free lunch.  The second part of the bill requires disclosure of payments to physicans over $1,000.  We believe that the public has a right to know of financial ties a healthcare provider has with a medical device or pharmaceutical company.
Senate Bill 248
This bill would require hospital specific reports of adverse events.
Thanks to Matt Kauffman, investigative journalist at the Hartford Courant, who demonstrated the failures of the hospital to report adverse events and the inability of the public to find out if there were patterns of error at one hospital, there is a great deal of public and legislative support for Senate Bill 248.  We have included in this bill the requirement that there be a random audit conducted of one or two hospitals yearly.  We know audits work.  When the central line infections in the ICU report was audited, it was found that there was 50% under reporting.  I feel that this legislation is a simple solution to a very complex problem. 

 Senate Bill 103

An Act concerning access to comprehensive factual information regarding long- term care facilites.  All consumers should love this bill.  Hats off to Senator Edith Prague who so consistently represents the needs of an aging population.   The bill has been voted out of the Select Committee on Aging.  A patient going into a nursing home, or his or her family, needs to know that every patient has rights. Quality reports as well as staffing ratios would be provided.  We know this is good public policy. Let's hope the legislature is persuaded by common sense and not special interest.