Reporting Law Summary

Illinois Adverse Health Care Events Reporting Law of 2005 – Summary

Updated May 2016

As part of the Hospital Assessment Act of 2005, Illinois passed a mandatory adverse event reporting law requiring hospitals and ambulatory surgical treatment centers to report to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) information on serious adverse events based on a list adopted by the National Quality Forum (NQF) in 2002. 

The Illinois Adverse Health Care Events Reporting Law of 2005 (410 ILCS 522) intends to “establish an adverse health care event reporting system designed to facilitate quality improvement through communication and collaboration… not to be used to punish errors.” 

When does this reporting system take effect?
The law was supposed to be fully operational by January 2008, with a statewide advisory committee appointed. State funding issues continue to impact IDPH’s ability to implement a reporting system. 

Regulations were initially adopted in 2008 and updated in January 2016 to align the law with new NQF definitions for serious reportable events. The law mandates that the state secure a vendor for electronic reporting and pilot the new reporting system for at least six months.

To help pay for the new reporting system, IHA and the hospital community in 2014 supported hospital licensing fee legislation that established a new fund for patient safety and quality improvement initiatives, including full implementation of the Adverse Event Reporting law. However, the agency’s lack of spending authorization prevents any forward movement. 

IHA continues to discuss implementation plans with IDPH, including exploring amenable means to maximize reporting efficiencies and capitalize on strong learning networks through Patient Safety Organizations such as the Midwest Alliance for Patient Safety.

Learn more about the specific adverse events that must be reported.

What must be reported?
Hospitals must identify their facility but must not include identifying information of any healthcare professionals, employees or patients involved.

What else must hospitals do?
The facility must conduct a root cause analysis of the event and implement a corrective action plan, or report reasons for not taking corrective action. If the root cause analysis was completed and corrective action plan implemented at the time an event must be reported, the findings and corrective action plan must be included in the report of the event. Otherwise, the findings and corrective action plan must be filed within 90 days of submitting the initial event report.

What will IDPH do with this information?
IDPH must:

  • Analyze adverse event reports, corrective action plans and root cause analyses findings to determine patterns of systemic failure in the healthcare system and successful methods to correct these failures;
  • Communicate to individual facilities any conclusions about an adverse event report and any recommendations for corrective action; and
  • Publish an annual report:
    • Describing adverse events reported by facility;
    • Summarizing, in aggregate, corrective action plans implemented by healthcare facilities; and
    • Recommending modifications of state healthcare operations.
  • Give hospitals 30 days to make corrections and add helpful explanatory comments about publicly available information before its publication.

Will the reported information be available to the public?
The published annual report will be the only information available to the public. Events reports, findings of root cause analyses, and corrective action plans, along with records created or obtained by the IDPH, shall not be available to the public and shall not be discoverable or admissible in any civil, criminal or administrative proceeding against a facility or healthcare professional. 

How will this law be enforced?
Non-compliance with the reporting provisions of this law shall constitute a violation of the Hospital Licensing Act, which may lead to a suspension of the hospital’s license.