WILLIAMSBURG, NEWPORT NEWS & HAMPTON, VIRGINIA TOP LAWYER: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

WILLIAMSBURG, NEWPORT NEWS & HAMPTON, VIRGINIA TOP LAWYER: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE

By letter opinion dated April 14, 2022, Newport News Circuit Court granted the wrongful death Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel for hospital policies and procedures, training materials, and audit trails in Walker v. LTACH @ Riverside, LLC, No. CL210034B-00, ___ Va. Cir. ___, 2022 Va. Cir. LEXIS 64, 2022 WL ____ (Newport News Apr. 14, 2022)(Sugg, J.).

The Court in Walker found policies and procedures were discoverable, not privileged, under Virginia’s Medical Malpractice Act, Va. Code §8.01-581.17(B); and under the Federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (“PSQIA”), 42 U.S.C. §299(b)-22. Further, Walker “declines to impose such a protective order [against Plaintiff expert review of the policies and procedures]” as requested by the medical malpractice Defendant hospital, and “takes no position on the admissibility of these policies and procedures”.

Most significantly, Walker held that Plaintiff was entitled to all audit trails of her electronic medical record, including particularly from after the patient left the hospital to “the present”, “to ensure the veracity of the records”. Medical malpractice Defendants historically resist producing audit trails after discharge or at least after notice of claim, asserting that such audit trails supposedly may disclose “work product” accessing.