Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hospitals Must Give Info About Injuries

[LEGISLATION] A new law requires hospitals to give patients information about "unanticipated outcomes" (the title of the bill is "Relating to injuries resulting from health care")ch. 118, Laws of 2005 (SSB 5065) (effective July 24). The notification -- and any statements or conduct expressing apology -- may not be introduced as evidence in civil actions.
The law is so short, I'll quote it in full:

NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. A new section is added to chapter 70.41 RCW
to read as follows:
Hospitals shall have in place policies to assure that, when appropriate, information about unanticipated outcomes is provided to patients or their families or any surrogate decision makers identified pursuant to RCW 7.70.065. Notifications of unanticipated outcomes under this section do not constitute an acknowledgement or admission of liability, nor can the fact of notification, the content disclosed, or any and all statements, affirmations, gestures, or conduct expressing apology be introduced as evidence in a civil action.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. Beginning January 1, 2006, the department shall, during the survey of a hospital, ensure that the policy required in section 1 of this act is in place.
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