Early Discussion and Resolution of Adverse Health Care Incidents in Oregon

Today, Oregon’s new law for the Resolution of Adverse Health Care Incidents becomes operational. Here are the top ten things to know about it:

[11.]   I’m certified as a mediator for the program with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission.

10.   “EDR” means Early Discussion and Resolution process for Adverse Health Care Incidents.

9.   The list of covered health care providers is long, from physicians to denturist to occupational therapist. OAR 325-035-0001(7).

8.   “Adverse Health Care Incident” includes death, significant impairment of body function, significant damage to body structure or “necessitates medical or surgical intervention to prevent, mitigate or correct significant impairment of body function or significant damage to a body structure.”  OAR 320-025-0001(14).

7.   It starts with a “notice of adverse health care incident” filed with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission by the health care facility, provider, patient, or employer.

6.  “Discussion Communications” differ from “Mediation.”

5.   “Discussion Communications” are not fully confidential, there is a exception for certain prior inconsistent statements.  I prepared a form of “Agreement to Talk” in an attempt to close the confidentiality loophole.  Let me know if you want it.

4.   Early Discussion Communications are the hoped-for heart of the law, helping patients get answers as to what happened and why.  Helping providers communicate openly.  Doctors and nurses who hurt patients often suffer as “secondary victims,” which can sometimes lead to great emotional suffering, quitting their profession, and suicide.  For clear cases, EDR will be quite helpful.  For less-clear cases, it might take some time for health care providers to determine, in good faith, what happened.

3.   The program applies to adverse health care incidents that occur on or after July 1 2014.

2.   The program is voluntary;  the patient does not need to attempt early discussions or mediation.

1.   Filing a notice of adverse health care incident tolls the statute of limitations for up to 180 days.

Jeff Merrick

Copyright 2014 by Jeff Merrick, Merrick Mediation