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How is Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Reported?

Pennsylvania medical malpractice

The National Academy for State Health Policy recently commissioned a report detailing Pennsylvania’s adverse event reporting system for medical malpractice events. Pennsylvania medical malpractice incidents are reported through a hospital adverse event reporting system. The Pennsylvania Adverse Event Reporting System (system) collects data on medical errors from hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, long-term care hospitals, birthing centers and abortion facilities. These facilities are required to report medical mistakes, but nursing homes are only required to report healthcare-associated infections.

The system is administered by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority (Authority). Other key partners in ensuring patient safety include:

  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Division of Quality Assurance —  ensures quality care in both inpatient and outpatient facilities and determines compliance with Centers for Medicare Services Conditions of Participation.
  • Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) — oversees the state’s Medicaid programs.

Healthcare facilities report adverse events only once. The reporting system ensures that all three departments receive the relevant information.  The Authority receives reports of serious adverse events, medical errors and non-harm events. The Department of Health receives reports involving medical malpractice that occurred as a result of infrastructure failure.  The Department of Health provides information to Medicaid who is responsible for surveying facilities.

The Authority periodically releases medical malpractice data do the public. This includes annual reports. Educational publications and staff training programs use the reports to prevent future adverse events.

According to Quality Patient Safety, (QPS) Pennsylvania has one of the most robust adverse event reporting systems.  However, the reporting system is not designed to provide compensation for injuries suffered as a result of hospital errors. Individuals who were injured as a result of a medical mistake or suspected elder abuse or neglect and wish to pursue a claim for compensation should consult with a law firm. There are time limits to file a claim, such as the statute of limitations. Contact a medical malpractice lawyer or nursing home abuse lawyer to learn how to preserve your rights.

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