Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Riverside

Virginia: Medical Malpractice – a Lawyer’s Riverside

On Halloween, October 31, 2014, Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Discovery of Riverside Defendants was heard by Newport News Circuit Court in the medical malpractice lawsuit of Joanne T. Rauchfuss, Administratrix v. Roger E. Schultz, M.D., Hampton Roads Urology, Riverside Physician Services, Inc., Riverside Medical Group, Benjamin J. Pettus, M.D., Peninsula Radiological Associates, Ltd., Riverside Diagnostic Center – Williamsburg, Riverside Hospital, Inc., Riverside Health System, and Riverside Healthcare Association, No. CL13-02754V-04. Judge Pugh ruled in favor of Mr. Waterman on all discovery issues raised in this alleged wrongful death case involving myHealth eLink, audit trails, metadata, and other electronic medical records, including particularly “interactive EMR depositions” and contemporaneous and subsequent policies, procedures, protocols, etc.

Rauchfuss v. Schultz/Riverside medical malpractice ruling ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel is GRANTED or MOOT re Interrogatories [“I”] and corresponding Requests for Production [“RP”] 1-10 and 14 and is GRANTED re interactive depositions for Defendants and their personnel, as follows:

1. I/RP 1: Information sought re identification of “each computer/screen, iPad and/or other device used [re George Rauchfuss’ CT scan]” is MOOT based on the 10/29/14 supplemental and amending discovery responses of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc., except that Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. consent and are ORDERED to supplement their discovery responses further whether any mirror-image copy of the hard-drive was made and/or any forensic examination was performed on the Dell Optiplex GX620 used by Dr. Schultz that was removed and taken by them on August 6, 2014, and “wiped” by them during August 7-8, 2014.

2. I/RP 2: Information and materials sought re “myHealth eLink…inputted, edited, transmitted, read and/or otherwise accessed [re George Rauchfuss]” are MOOT based on the representations of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc., that they already have provided Plaintiff all myHealth eLink, audit trails, metadata, and other electronic records for George Rauchfuss, and based on their 10/29/14 supplemental and amending discovery responses.

3. I/RP 3: Information sought re identification of “each computer, iPad and/or other device operating system, software and/or any other program…inputted, edited, transmitted, read and/or otherwise accessed [re George Rauchfuss’] myHealth eLink” is MOOT based on the 10/29/14 supplemental and amending discovery responses of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc.

4. I/RP 4: Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. are ORDERED over Objections to produce the facility, staff, and other physician, nursing, technological and/or assistant standards, guidelines, bylaws, policies, procedures, protocols, and the like in effect on March 16, 2012, at Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., Riverside Physician Services, Inc., Peninsula Radiological Associates, Inc., and/or otherwise at the offices of Dr. Pettus or Dr. Schultz about: (1) patients communicating with healthcare providers by myHealth eLink, accessing their diagnostic imaging reports and other electronic medical records by myHealth eLink and/or otherwise using myHealth eLink; (2) healthcare providers communicating with patients by myHealth eLink, providing patients their diagnostic imaging reports and other electronic medical records by myHealth eLink and/or otherwise using myHealth eLink; (3) the manner and format for radiologists and their practices/personnel reporting interpretations of and otherwise entering data about diagnostic imaging in patients’ electronic medical records, including particularly without limitation the numerical ordering and placement of findings/impressions of suspected cancer and/or other potential deadly conditions; (4) the advisability, necessity, discretion, etc. of radiologists and/or their practices/personnel directly notifying by phone, fax, email and/or in person the physicians who ordered diagnostic imaging of findings/impressions of suspected cancer and/or other potential deadly conditions; (5) physicians who order diagnostic imaging acknowledging receipt of the radiology report for such diagnostic imaging, actually reading the entire report of such diagnostic imaging and/or acknowledging having read the report of such diagnostic imaging; (6) physicians relying, or not, on the electronic version of the diagnostic imaging reports in lieu of reading the paper hard-copy of the diagnostic imaging reports; and/or (7) physicians who order diagnostic imaging actually reading and/or acknowledging receipt and/or reading of the “hard copy” of diagnostic imaging reports;

5. I/RP 5: Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. are ORDERED over Objections to produce any amendment, revision and/or other change to any standard, guideline, bylaw, policy, procedure, protocol and the like in effect at Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., Riverside Physician Services, Inc., Peninsula Radiological Associates, Inc., and/or the offices of Dr. Pettus or Dr. Schultz at any time from March 16, 2012, through October 31, 2012, and/or any new facility, staff, physician, nursing, technological and/or standard, guideline, bylaw, policy, procedure, protocol and the like in effect at Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., Riverside Physician Services, Inc., Peninsula Radiological Associates, Inc., and/or the offices of Dr. Pettus or Dr. Schultz at any time from March 16, 2012, through October 31, 2012, and the reasons therefor, about: (1) patients communicating with healthcare providers by myHealth eLink, accessing their diagnostic imaging reports and other electronic medical records by myHealth eLink and/or otherwise using myHealth eLink; (2) healthcare providers communicating with patients by myHealth eLink, providing patients their diagnostic imaging reports and other electronic medical records by myHealth eLink and/or otherwise using myHealth eLink; (3) the manner and format for radiologists and their practices/personnel reporting interpretations of and otherwise entering data about diagnostic imaging in patients’ electronic medical records, including particularly without limitation the numerical ordering and placement of findings/impressions of suspected cancer and/or other potential deadly conditions; (4) the advisability, necessity, discretion, etc. of radiologists and/or their practices/personnel directly notifying by phone, fax, email and/or in person the physicians who ordered diagnostic imaging of findings/impressions of suspected cancer and/or other potential deadly conditions; (5) physicians who order diagnostic imaging acknowledging receipt of the radiology report for such diagnostic imaging, actually reading the entire report of such diagnostic imaging and/or acknowledging having read the report of such diagnostic imaging; (6) physicians relying, or not, on the electronic version of the diagnostic imaging reports in lieu of reading the paper hard copy of the diagnostic imaging reports; and/or (7) physicians who order diagnostic imaging actually reading and/or acknowledging receipt and/or reading the paper hard-copy of diagnostic imaging reports.

6. I/RP 6: Information and materials sought re stating “with specificity the exact entire content of the [substantially illegible/unintelligible] redacted handwritten notes of Wendy Conner” is MOOT based on the 10/29/14 supplemental and amending discovery responses of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc.

7. I/RP 7: Information and materials sought re “Risk Management personnel [communications] with Dr. John Miller about factual information of cancer care of George Rauchfuss” is MOOT based on the 10/29/14 supplemental and amending discovery responses of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc.

8. I/RP 8: Information and materials sought re “Roger Schultz and Erika Cyrus communicating about Erika Cyrus providing George Rauchfuss…the Pettus 3/16/12 CT scan” is MOOT based on the 10/29/14 supplemental and amending discovery responses of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc.; but Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. consent and are ORDERED to “state with specifity the date, the form (oral, myHealth eLink, email, note, etc.), the content, and any witnesses of…Erika Cyrus actually providing, or attempting to provide, George W. Rauchfuss, Jr. the Pettus 3/16/12 CT scan report (or otherwise the key interpretations/results thereof)” and to provide all documents, electronic data, and tangible things thereof.

9. I/RP 9: Information and materials sought re “the entity [and entity’s individual representative] that forwarded or otherwise delivered the electronic version of the paper hard-copy of Dr. Pettus’ 3/16/12 CT scan report” is MOOT based on the 10/29/14 supplemental and amending discovery responses of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc.

10. I/RP 10: Information and materials sought re “all insurance, assurance, risk retention and/or like coverage,” including re “self-insured” is MOOT re Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc. based on its 10/29/14 supplemental and amending discovery response; but Riverside Hospital, Inc. and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. consent and are ORDERED to produce the coverage policies and declaration pages bearing their respective names as insureds and/or other collateral insurance documentation showing that they actually in fact are covered by the insurance policy and declaration page naming only Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc. on its face.

11. I/RP 14: Information and materials sought re “all Medicare payments [and] billing…, including any ‘write-offs’ and/or ‘write-downs’,” is MOOT, except that Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. consent and are ORDERED to double-check that no responsive information and/or materials have been omitted inadvertently.

12. DEPOSITIONS: For Plaintiff’s depositions of Defendants and their respective personnel, Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. must provide, have operational, and be displaying for dynamic interactive use during the deposition questioning the pertinent networks, equipment, software, systems, etc. used by any of them re electronic medical records (including myHealth eLink) at any time during March 16 – October 31, 2012. Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. through their IT personnel shall black-out or otherwise obfuscate personal health information of any patient other than George Rauchfuss without distorting remainder of the image displayed on the computer monitor screens. If Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. claim that such black-out/obfuscation is not feasible, then the respective IT personnel and counsel of Plaintiff, Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. forthwith first shall confer, inspect, and trouble-shoot a potential technological solution in lieu of seeking further hearing before the Court, subject to entry of an appropriate Protective Order re third-party personal health information. If any doctor and/or other personnel of Defendants refuse to display, scroll, etc. manually as requested during deposition, then IT personnel of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. shall do so at the direction of any such doctor or other personnel.

Rauchfuss v. Schultz/Riverside alleged wrongful death case FURTHER ORDERED that Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. shall have 21 days from hearing, or until November 21, 2014, within which to deliver their Answers and Responses ordered.

Rauchfuss v. Schultz/Riverside alleged medical malpractice action FURTHER ORDERED that the oral motion of Riverside Healthcare Association, Inc., Riverside Hospital, Inc., and Riverside Physician Services, Inc. for a Protective Order re all standards, guidelines, bylaws, policies, procedures, protocols, and the like ordered is DENIED.

THE VIRGINIA STATE BAR REQUIRES ALL LAWYERS TO POST THE FOLLOWING DISCLAIMERS ON ALL CASE-RELATED POSTS. MR. WATERMAN’S CASE RESULTS AND CLIENT TESTIMONIALS DEPEND UPON A VARIETY OF FACTORS UNIQUE TO EACH CASE. THEY DO NOT GUARANTEE OR PREDICT A SIMILAR RESULT IN ANY FUTURE CASE BY HIM.