The Kentucky Hospital Association and the American Hospital Association are appealing the ruling of a Kentucky court to the Kentucky Supreme Court. At issue is the scope of a provision in the federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 which would protect hospitals and health care providers from having information about mistakes and near misses made available during the litigation discovery process if the information is considered “patient safety work product (PSWP),” and collected within the framework of a Patient Safety Organization.
The alleged purpose of the law is to encourage hospital staff to come forward with information about mistakes without fear that the information would be used against them. By providing this protection, it is thought that more staff members may be willing to admit to mistakes and take steps to prevent future errors.
Since the law was enacted, two lower court judges in Kentucky have limited the scope of the discovery protection to include only self-examining analysis and peer review discussions. Now the Kentucky Hospital Association and others are concerned that these judges may have interpreted the law too narrowly and are asking the Kentucky Supreme Court to consider the issue.
The two lower court decisions that are being appealed include Norton Hospitals Inc. v. Cunningham and Phillip Tibbs, M.D., et al v. Bunnell.
Our Louisville medical malpractice lawyers will be waiting for the Kentucky Supreme Court’s decision and we extend our best wishes to anyone who has been hurt by medical malpractice in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.