Can I get an Incident Report from a Nursing Home?

How Can I Get a Nursing Home Incident Report

Nursing home incident reports are created following significant adverse incidents that occur to residents inside a facility. Patient falls, bad pressure sores, unexplained death and medication mistakes all warrant the completion of an incident report. However, most families get the runaround when they try to obtain an incident report from the nursing home. The facility commonly claims the incident report is privileged, confidential or ‘work product’ for internal use only. As nursing home abuse lawyers, we are regularly asked, how can I obtain a nursing home incident report?

We Can Help Get Your Nursing Home Incident Report

If a serious adverse incident occurred involving your loved one, you likely have grounds to pursue an underlying nursing home negligence case. Our attorneys have successfully obtained hundreds of incident reports from nursing homes. Let our years of experience in this sub-specialty help you get answers to tough questions. Call us today for a free consultation: 1-844-253-8919.
The Law on Nursing Home Incident Reports

When and Why are Nursing Home Incident Reports Created?

Pursuant to Fla. Stat. §400.147(1)(f), every facility shall establish an internal risk management and quality assurance program, which requires the analysis of resident grievances and the quality of clinical services.

Subsection (5) requires a report be created for any of the following events: 

1. Death;
2. Brain or spinal damage, subdural hematoma;
3. Permanent disfigurement;
4. Fracture of bones or joints, broken hips and other serious fractures;
5. A limitation of neurological, physical, or sensory function;
6. Any condition that required outside medical attention, like a stage 4 bedsore;
7. Any condition that required the transfer of the resident, within or outside the facility, to a unit providing a more acute level of care due to the adverse incident, rather than the resident’s condition prior to the adverse incident; or
8. An event that is reported to law enforcement or its personnel for investigation; or
9. Resident elopement, if the elopement places the resident at risk of harm or injury.

The Law on Producing Nursing Home Incident Reports

In Florida, nursing home incident reports are discoverable pursuant to Florida Statute §400.147(4), which states in relevant part:

Each internal risk management and quality assurance program shall include the use of incident reports to be filed with the risk manager and the facility administrator. The risk manager shall have free access to all resident records of the licensed facility. The incident reports are part of the workpapers of the attorney defending the licensed facility in litigation relating to the licensed facility and are subject to discovery, but are not admissible as evidence in court. A person filing an incident report is not subject to civil suit by virtue of such incident report.

This means that your attorney can obtain the incident report for you through discovery. Although the statute states that the incident report itself is not admissible in an underlying civil proceeding, the information contained in the nursing home incident report can be used to locate witnesses and figure out what happened.

Are Florida Nursing Home Incident Reports Privileged or Confidential?

No. The law on this is clear that incident reports must be produced to your attorney through discovery. There is no quality assurance or work product privilege for nursing homes. See, Tampa Medical Associates v. Estate of Torres, 903 So.2d 259 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005) and Mariner Health Care of Metrowest, Inc. v. Best, 879 So.2d 65 (5th DCA 2004).

Tampa Medical Associates v. Estate of Torres

In this 2nd District Appellate case, the appellate court held that resident fall incident reports were discoverable in the underlying Tampa nursing home abuse case. The Second District Court of Appeal held that:

In this case, the trial court conducted an in camera inspection and determined that certain incident reports were discoverable. We conclude that [Defendant Nursing Home] has not shown that the trial court departed from the essential requirements of law in making this determination.

Mariner Health Care of Metrowest, Inc. v. Best

In this 5th District Appellate case, the appellate court held that resident fall incident reports were discoverable in the underlying Orlando nursing home abuse case. The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that:

We conclude that the petition for writ of certiorari should be granted and the discovery order quashed. On remand, the trial court should hold an in camerainspection of the documents. As in Fluitt, the precise nature of the grievance logs and related documents sought by Best is unclear. If these documents were generated under section 400.147(4), under the holding in Fluitt, they would be subject to discovery. 

More Questions on a Nursing Home Incident Report?

Facilities do not create internal reports over minor injuries. If you believe the nursing home created an incident report relating to your loved one, your case deserves further investigating. Contact our compassionate, experienced nursing home negligence attorneys today to learn more about your rights. Call us today for a free consultation: 1-844-253-8919.


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