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Privilege and confidentiality protections - R.I. Gen. Laws Ann. § 23-17.21-8

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“Patient safety work product” and the corresponding document log are confidential and privileged and thus (1) not subject to discovery or subpoena in any legal proceeding against a provider; (2) not subject to the Federal Freedom of Information Act or similar federal, state, or local laws; (3) inadmissible into evidence in any legal proceeding against a providing; and (4) inadmissible in any professional disciplinary proceeding established or authorized by state law.

Rhode Island permits the disclosure of confidential and privileged patient safety work product in specified circumstances. For example, work product information may be used in criminal proceedings (subject to evidentiary limitations), disclosed pursuant to authorization from all providers named in to work product, and released to the FDA in relation to a product or activity subject to FDA regulation. Patient safety work product remains confidential and privileged following a permissible disclosure unless the disclosure occurs during a criminal proceeding.

PSOs may only be compelled to disclose information if (1) the information is not patient safety work product or log; and (2) the information is not reasonably available elsewhere.

Rhode Island prohibits accreditors from taking action against providers based upon their good faith participation in the creation of patient safety work product and from requiring providers to reveal communications with PSOs.

Rhode Island imposes a maximum $10,000 penalty on persons that knowingly or recklessly disclose patient safety work product or log information. However, such violations may not result in penalties under both this provision and HIPAA.


Current as of June 2015