Press Release
Senator Bob Singer Senator Bob Singer (R-30)
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Contact: Senate Republicans / (609) 847-3600
May 26, 2011
Singer Bill Protecting Patient Safety Clears Committee

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Legislation sponsored by Senator Robert Singer (R-Ocean) that would require all surgical practices to be licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services was passed by the Senate Health Committee today. Under current law surgical facilities only have to be registered, not licensed, and have less stringent operating requirements. The licensed centers are inspected every two to three years, have more specific staffing requirements and must report to the state medical errors that result in serious injuries.

“Surgical facilities often provide complicated, yet necessary surgical procedures and should have similar safety standards as ambulatory care facilities, ” Singer stated. “We must take the necessary precautions to prevent putting any patient at unnecessary risk.”

The impetus of this bill was when it was discovered that more than half of the ambulatory surgery centers inspected in New Jersey in the past two years failed to meet federal safety standards, state inspectors found. More than one-quarter were cited for violations that can cause serious injury to patients.

“This important piece of legislation will improve patient safety and quality of patient care, treatment and services, ” Singer concluded.

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