Senate passes patient safety bill; House to follow suit

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The Senate has passed a patient safety bill that aims to reduce medical errors and encourage reporting of healthcare mistakes to patient safety organizations.

"Unfortunately, the fear of unnecessary lawsuits has had a chilling effect on information sharing that could reduce errors and save lives," Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), said in a statement last week.

The House this week is expected to pass similar legislation. Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved a patient safety bill that provides a way for healthcare providers to share information to patient safety organizations without fear of punishment.