Frequently, families who request copies of an incident report after their loved one is injured at a nursing home are turned down by the facility Administrator. The nursing home often claims that an incident report is a privileged document for internal use as part of the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) Program. The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm are familiar with procuring important documents about your loved one’s injury and can help investigate claims of nursing home neglect.
Nursing home incident reports are created to record happenings or events that are not consistent with the routine care of a resident. Negative events such as a patient fall, a medication error, or an injury that required hospitalization all warrant the completion of an incident report. Incident reports can be used to provide a factual record of the event. Additionally, they may be used to improve resident care by assuring that immediate intervention and corrective measures are taken to prevent the incident from reoccurring. The facility’s Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI) Committee may review incident reports to identify systemic problems and evaluate potential changes to improve quality within the nursing home.
Nursing homes frequently cite regulations from the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act and the Pennsylvania Peer Review Protection Act in order to prevent access to certain documents from plaintiffs. However, recent cases have narrowed what documents are privileged under the Pennsylvania Peer Review Protection Act.
In 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s decision in Reginelli v. Boggs notably limited the scope of protection for peer reviewed documents. Since then, Pennsylvania lower courts have made decisions on the behalf of individual plaintiffs that have increasingly given access to documents and investigations formerly understood to be privileged and not discoverable.
The opinion in the Ungurian case upheld that in certain circumstances, event reports, serious safety event meeting summaries, minutes from patient safety committee meetings, root cause analysis reports, and quality improvement staff peer reviews were discoverable.
Notably, it is very unlikely that a nursing home will turn over an incident report willingly. Usually, you will need to hire a Pennsylvania nursing home injury lawyer to file a lawsuit on your behalf before the facility will produce incident report.
The nursing home neglect attorneys at the Wieand Law Firm are familiar with recent case outcomes that impact the discoverability of incident reports and other important documents that may support your loved one’s case against a neglectful nursing home. We routinely are able to obtain incident reports and as well as other critical evidence concerning injuries and wrongful death that nursing home facilities conceal from the residents and their family members.
Yes, nursing homes are responsible for reporting serious incidents to government agencies that regulate nursing homes. In Pennsylvania, 28 Pa. Code § 51.3 and outlines the reportable incidents and conditions that must be reported to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. It also requires that an incident report be maintained about these reportable incidents. Incidents covered by this regulation include:
If your loved one suffered an injury at a nursing home that resulted in the creation of an incident report, your case may warrant further investigation. Contact our compassionate and experienced nursing home neglect lawyers today to understand your legal options.
Call 888-789-3161 or complete the online form on our website to speak directly with a nursing home neglect attorney.
The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm understand the plight of the nation’s nursing home residents. No one should be subject to neglect and substandard care in long term care facilities. Our attorneys will partner with you to take a stand against underperforming nursing homes and seek compensation for their injuries. Call us today or send us a message to speak directly with an nursing home neglect lawyer.