House committee approves medical error bill

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The House Energy and Commerce Committee this week approved a bill that could help reduce medical errors in healthcare facilities.

The bill would establish a Department of Health & Human Services database to catalog error reports and identify trends. It also would offer new legal protections to encourage people to report errors.

A compromise bill, it includes provisions of a bill co-sponsored by Sens. Michael Enzi (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who is on the HELP committee. The HELP committee approved a patient safety bill in March.