By January 1st of this year, Illinois was to have established a system for reporting and reviewing egregious hospital errors–e.g. sponges left inside patients after surgery. But it has not done so. Illinois has also failed to fulfill other elements of the hospital safety legislation the state passed four years ago. For instance, the Illinois Hospital Report Card was supposed to have been published, but is nowhere to be seen. Illinois officials are now predicting that it will be released in October.
Officials blame this failure on everything from poor leadership to lack of funding to unrealistic expectations. Whatever the cause, the failure is disappointing because–as the Consumers Union health-care expert Lisa McGiffert points out–Illinois was regarded as a role model for other states in this area.