Discovery: PA Court Finds Incident Report Not Privileged, Orders Disclosure

December 1, 2011 | Health System Risk Management


A Pennsylvania trial court has determined that a hospital failed to prove that it complied with the requirements of the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) and the state's privilege statute and that an incident report prepared by the facility's risk manager was therefore not privileged from disclosure in a lawsuit against the hospital. The report described how a patient fell on concrete on hospital property and sustained a subdural hematoma after leaving the hospital's emergency department (ED).

The plaintiff was treated in the ED for injuries he sustained in a motorcycle collision. He was administered morphine intravenously and was allegedly discharged without having his vital signs taken and without assistance or a wheelchair, resulting in his fall. He claimed negligent discharge and negligence in violating the hospital's policies regarding narcotic analgesic medications. The hospital asserted that the patient left against medical...

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