On January 31, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court held that adverse medical incident reports produced in accordance with Florida law cannot constitute confidential and privileged patient safety work product (PSWP) under the federal Patient Safety & Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA). In Jean Charles, Jr. et al. v. Southern Baptist Hospital of Florida, Inc. (No. SC15-2180), the Court endorsed a broad right of access under the Florida Constitution for patients to obtain adverse medical incident reports from health care facilities, a right commonly exercised by plaintiffs in medical malpractice actions.

In 2015, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal had concluded that certain adverse medical incident reports were protected PSWP under the PSQIA, and that the PSQIA preempted patients’ right of access under Article X, §25 of the Florida Constitution (that provision is commonly referred to as Amendment 7; see our previous analysis of the case here). Amendment 7 was passed in 2004, and in pertinent part it provides patients with “a right to have access to any records made or received in the course of business by a health care facility or provider relating to any adverse medical incident.”
Continue Reading Florida Supreme Court Rejects PSQIA Preemption of Florida Constitution