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Illinois Governor introduces measures to reduce medical errors

Last Thursday, Governor Blagojevich proposed measures that are likely to reduce medical errors that kill nearly 4,000 Illinoisans a year. This measure comes a year after the Illinois legislature enacted caps on medical malpractice cases limiting non-economic damages awarded against individual physicians to $500,000 and limiting non-economic damages awarded against hospitals to $1,000,000.

On of Blagojevich’s proposed measures is a voluntary computer prescription program which national medical experts have estimated may reduce errors by 80 percent. With more than 750 medications that sound and look alike, this measure could be particularly effective at reducing prescription mix-ups and mis-fillings.

Blagojevich also proposed more focus on medical practices by creating a new patient safety division to standardize medication practices and reduce mistakes. While these measures will likely curtail instances of medical errors, the fact remains that the medical malpractice damage caps enacted last year strip Illinoisians of their right to fair and just compensation if they are not saved by preventative measures like the Governor proposes.

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