Announcement of Joint Public Hearing on Improving Patient Safety in New York

Thomas K. Duane

September 28, 2009






Oral Testimony by Invitation Only


SUBJECT:      Improving patient safety in New York: Understanding and improving the current system


PURPOSE:     To learn how New York can improve patient safety in hospitals across the State


New York City

October 19, 2009
10:00 A.M

Assembly Hearing Room

250 Broadway, 19th Floor

            Hospitals across the nation, including New York, too often suffer from medical errors and other adverse incidents which endanger or harm patients.  To address this problem and improve patient safety, New York, in 1985, became one of the first states to require hospitals to report and initiate actions based on adverse events occurring in their facilities.  To simplify reporting and enable hospitals to obtain feedback, in 1998, New York created the New York Patient Occurrence and Tracking System (NYPORTS). 

            Accurate and complete reporting of events is essential if NYPORTS is to accomplish its goal of improving quality of care.  Unfortunately, problems of underreporting by hospitals have plagued NYPORTS since its inception.  A  New York Daily News’ investigative report this past summer as well as New York City Comptroller William Thompson’s recent report, The High Costs of Weak Compliance With the New York State Hospital Adverse Event Reporting and Tracking System, charge that there is inadequate oversight of hospitals’ compliance with the system.

            The purpose of this hearing is to learn how New York can improve patient safety in hospitals across the State.  What is the role of NYPORTS?  How well is it working?  How can it be strengthened and made more effective to protect the public?  What other measures should New York take?

            Persons invited and wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing, or planning to attend, should complete the hearing reply form below and return as indicated as soon as possible, but no later than Wednesday, October 14.  It is important that the form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

            Oral testimony is by invitation only and will be limited to ten minutes in length.  In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances.  This request should be made on the reply form or communicated to Committee staff as soon as possible.  Fifteen copies of any written statement should be submitted at the hearing registration table.  Written testimony, whether presented in person at the hearing or not, should be e-mailed (as a Word or PDF document) before the hearing or as soon as possible after the hearing to: Allison Jacobs,, Richard Conti, and Estibaliz Alonso,

            In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Senate and Assembly work to make their facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities.  For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Senate and Assembly facilities and activities.

            Questions about this hearing may be directed to Denise Soffel of the Senate Health Committee at 212-633-8052 or; or Richard Conti of the Assembly Health Committee staff at 518-455-4941,; or Estibaliz Alonso of Assembly Program and Counsel staff at 518-455-4311,


Senator Thomas Duane


Committee on Health


Richard N. Gottfried

Member of Assembly


Committee on Health



Persons invited to present testimony at the public hearing on “Improving patient safety in New York: Understanding and improving the current system” are requested to complete this reply form Wednesday, October 14 and mail, email or fax it to:


Alison Jacobs

New York State Senate

433 Capitol, Albany, NY 12247

(t) 518-455-2630, (f) 518-426-6703


Richard Conti

New York State Assembly Committee on Health

822 LOB, Albany, NY 12248

(t) 518-455-4941, (f) 518-455-5939


Estibaliz Alonso

New York State Assembly

Alfred E. Smith Bldg, Fl. 23, Albany, NY 12248

(t) 518-455-4311, (f) 518-455-7095

I plan to attend the following public hearing on improving patient safety in New York: Understanding and improving the current system to be conducted by the Senate Committee on Health and the Assembly Committee on Health on October 19th.

I plan to make a public statement at the hearing.  My statement will be limited to 10 minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise.  I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.

I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.

I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information.

Please specify the type of assistance required: _________________________________________