Commissioner Nelson Peters on the Patient Safety Ordinance

Allen County Board of Commissioners Seal

In today’s Legislative Session, the Allen County Board of Commissioners will take a final vote on the proposed Patient Safety Ordinance.

I spoke with Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters about his proposed ordinance Thursday.  The interview follows as well as the press release dated March 22, 2010. There is also a second part to the interview, concerning the historic events of last week, which will be posted later this weekend. Special thanks to Commissioner Peters for speaking with us!


The press release:

Patient Safety Ordinance Changes Prepared for Commissioners’ Consideration
Measure to be introduced at Friday legislative session

After a year and a-half of discussion and input from the local medical and health community, a new version of a proposed patient safety ordinance will be introduced to the Allen County Board of Commissioners at its Friday legislative session.

The original ordinance drafted in August 2008 required all physicians who offer to perform any type of outpatient surgical tissue removal procedure to have admitting privileges at a local hospital if the procedure is performed within Allen County.

The new ordinance would affect any physician living outside Allen or any surrounding county and does not have admitting privileges who offers any type of medical care to a person in Allen County. Those physicians would be required to provide emergency contact information to the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department and pay a $250 filing fee. In addition, follow-up care would have to be made available on an appropriate and timely basis when clinically necessary by the physician or their alternate physician-designee. Information about the physician-designee must be provided to the patient and the Health Department, as well as all Allen County operating hospitals, emergency departments and urgent care providers.

Any person who violates any provisions of the ordinance would be subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation and reported to the Indiana State Medical Licensing Board.

No vote on the ordinance will be taken at Friday’s meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Courtroom on the second floor of the City-County Building.

It is important to reiterate that while the focus of the ordinance originally started with abortion procedures, it soon became apparent that there were other procedures as well being completed with complications by itinerant doctors.  This ordinance in now way impugns the high level of health care provided by Allen County health care providers.

The ordinance may be downloaded here, while the agenda for the Legislative Session may be downloaded here.

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