Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Archive for the ‘disclosure’ Category

State: nurse at Auburn facility took patients’ opiates, worked under the influence

by Matt Rosenberg June 10th, 2011

SUMMARY: The Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission of the Washington state Department of Health has charged registered nurse Deborah M. Asrari with unprofessional conduct for allegedly appropriating the prescription opiate hydomorphone for her unauthorized use while on duty at Auburn Regional Medical Center, and allegedly practicing nursing while affected by that drug. In several instances, the state alleges, the drugs were intended for patients under her care. Asrari declined to respond the commission within the required 20 days and state officials say the next step is a hearing within five months, after which disciplinary actions may be taken.

Court Supports Disclosure Of Medical Incident Data In Doctor’s Negligence Suit Against Bellingham Hospital

by Matt Rosenberg January 31st, 2011

SUMMARY: A then-staff physician specializing in obstetrics and gynecology at St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham, Wash. was herself a patient there in January, 2007 and suffered permanent neurological damage resulting from an intravenous infusion during the stay. She filed a corporate negligence claim against the hospital and its parent company PeaceHealth – which operates facilities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska – and for trial “discovery” proceedings sought internal records on any other documented IV complications at St. Joseph from 2000 through 2008. The records were retrievable through a database maintained by the hospital’s quality assurance committee. A trial court first upheld her information request, but then in response to a motion by the parent company, denied it, citing state law about such committees as a reason for strict confidentiality. The plaintiff asked a state appeals court to intervene and uphold her right to get and use the information in her legal action. Washington Court of Appeals District I in Seattle ruled in her favor today, stating in its opinion that although state law does prevent disclosure of the internal workings of hospital quality assurance committees and prevent direct outside disclosure of medical incident reports themselves, it “may not serve as an artificial shield for information contained in ordinary medical records.” The Appeals Court ordered that PeaceHealth would have to permit internal retrieval and inclusion in Lowy’s trial of information on “underlying facts and explanatory circumstances” of “alleged injuries, complications, malfunctions or adverse events” associated with any IV infusions at St. Joseph from 2000 through 2008.