Medical malpractice cases often take adverse medical incident records into consideration. In 2004, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment, known as Amendment Seven, which provides patients broad rights to access adverse incident review reports from medical providers, including reports made in preparation for medical malpractice litigation. Basically it gives the victims of medical malpractice cases, or individuals who’ve been hurt as a result of medical malpractice, the ability to inquire from healthcare facilities such as hospitals and learn more about other adverse medical incidents, not just their own.
Ever since that time, the courts have grappled to what extent patients have right to access records from medical providers such as a hospital, while weighing the rights that hospitals have to conduct internal peer review without fear of those internal discussions becoming public.
Florida Supreme Court Reviews Adverse Medical Incident Records Amendment in Bartow vs. Edwards
Recently, the Florida Supreme Court had the opportunity to review the amendment in a case known as Bartow vs. Edwards. This was a case where a patient known as Amber Edwards was suing a surgeon due to medical malpractice concerns. During the course of the litigation, the patient tried to obtain records from Bartow HMA, the hospital. The Florida Supreme Court focused on the language of the amendment, which says patients have a right to access “any records made or received in the course of business by a health care facility or provider relating to any adverse medical incident.”
The majority read that as a broad mandate that includes external peer review committee reports at issue in this case.
By deciding in favor of patients, the Florida Supreme Court reiterated and acknowledged that Florida votes spoke loud and clear when they passed Amendment Seven.
If you have been the victim of medical malpractice, this is something that you should look into. You should work with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help you research into other incidents at your medical facility to bring up throughout the discovery process in your case.
Medical Malpractice. (n.d.). Retrieved December 18, 2017, from http://www.panterlaw.com/video/medical-malpractice/