Hospital Wins Fight to Protect Patient Safety Work Product
The plaintiff in a wrongful death case based on medical malpractice sought documents from the hospital in discovery. The request encompassed incident review reports relating to the decedent’s care generated after the incident that were reported to the hospital’s third party Patient Safety Organization (PSO). The hospital declined to produce them claiming privilege under the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act). The trial court granted the plaintiff’s motion to compel and entered a friendly contempt finding to facilitate appellate review. The Appellate Court agreed with the hospital’s contentions that the documents constitute patient safety work product under the Patient Safety Act and found the federal law preempts the circuit court's production order.