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Hospital events reporting - R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 23-17-40

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Hospitals must report specified adverse events to the department of health within 24 hours of the event or within 24 hours of receiving information that indicates an event has occurred.  Reportable events include: (1) fires or other “internal disasters” that disrupt care or harm patients or hospital personnel; (2) the poisoning of a patient; (3) an outbreak of infection within the facility; (4) “kidnapping and inpatient psychiatric elopements and elopements by minors;” (5) personnel strikes; (6) external disasters or emergencies that affect facility operations; and (7) “unscheduled termination of any services vital to the continued safe operation of the facility or to the health and safety of its patients and personnel.”

Upon reporting the abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of a patient to the attorney general’s office, pursuant to chapter 17.8, a hospital must provide the department of health with a copy of the report. Hospitals must also provide the department with reports made pursuant to the federal Safe Medical Devices Act of 1990.

Hospitals must report injuries (e.g. brain injury, paralysis, patient suicide) to the department within 72 hours of discovering the injury. The department must establish regulations regarding (1) the process that professionals must use to report injuries to the hospital; (2) requirements for a hospital investigation into the injury and development of a performance improvement plan; and (3) injuries that must be reported in addition to those specified by statute. Injury reports may not contain personal identifiers. Hospitals must initiate peer review proceedings regarding the incident and must notify the department of the peer review outcome. If the peer review board determines that the injury was not a normal patient outcome, the hospital must investigate the injury and develop a performance improvement plan. The hospital must also provide the department with (1) an explanation of the incident circumstances; (2) an assessment of the incident’s effect on the patient; (3) a summary of the patient’s status, their post-incident diagnosis, and post-incidence care; and (4) a summary of steps taken by the hospital to correct problems, prevent future incidents, and improve patient care.

Reports and documents provided to the department pursuant to this section are privileged in accordance with § 23-17-25.


Current as of June 2015