In the Legal’s Medical Malpractice supplement, read about attorney privilege in med mal cases, an EMR audit trail and arbitration agreements in nursing home cases.
Throughout the course of medical malpractice cases, depositions are a key component of the process of discovery. In these cases, it is common practice for defense counsel to seek the depositions of family members of named plaintiffs.
The Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act, 40 Pa. C.S. Section 1303.101, et. seq., contains provisions which create an institutional “patient safety” process, and provides protections—contained in Section 1303.311— that afford to health care institutions the ability to report and investigate “serious events or incidents,” and develop and implement solutions to systemic patient safety problems that may lead to future “serious events or incidents” discovered thereby, free from concern about exposure during litigation discovery.
The recent discovery trend in medical malpractice litigation is to not only request a copy of the patient’s medical record, but to also request the defendant’s electronic medical record (EMR) “audit trail,” which can show a true history of the chart entries including the identity of persons who have reviewed its information.
I remember it like it was yesterday. I was at trial, sitting at the defense table and the plaintiff’s electronic medical records (EMR) expert was testifying before the jury. There he was, trying to invent conspiracy theory after conspiracy theory about how a defense witness lied about being physically present at the hospital during a certain time period.
A recurring issue in cases involving injuries to patients or residents of nursing and rehabilitation facilities is the existence of and the importance to the case of agreements to arbitrate any disputes that arise from the admission.