In the Courts: Nursing Home Cannot Invoke Peer Review Statute to Hide Threats Made to CNA during QI Meeting

February 8, 2019 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​In a lawsuit alleging that a fall or several falls caused the death of a nursing home resident, the Tennessee Court of Appeals has found that the defendants could not use the state's peer review statute to exclude evidence that a supervisor coerced a certified nursing assistant (CNA) into altering an incident report. In so ruling, the appellate court reversed the order of the trial court, which had excluded the testimony, and remanded the case for further proceedings.

On suing the nursing home and its operator, the plaintiff claimed that one or more of the resident's falls caused her death. The CNA testified that during a quality improvement committee (QIC) meeting, a supervisor and another employee coerced the CNA into changing the time on an incident report to show that the resident's second fall happened so soon after the first that the defendants had no time to take corrective action before she fell again. The CNA was threatened with dismissal or retaliation. The supervisor and the CNA ultimately agreed that the CNA would indicate that she did not remember the time of the second fall. The CNA signed the second incident...

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