Bradley attorney Amy Hampton was quoted in Healthcare Risk Management on the role of privilege in an adverse event investigation. Assertions of privilege often are met with skepticism, and risk managers must not blindly assume that information collected during the investigative process will be protected from future disclosure by summarily claiming “peer review privilege” or “attorney-client privilege,” Hampton said.
The risk manager should determine whether the investigation is for ordinary business purposes or for a quality improvement, legal, or other purpose for which privilege may apply, and the investigation should be conducted accordingly.
Even thought it might seem apparent to the drafter, “notes, reports, and data prepared for purposes of the investigation should be marked as privileged at the time they are prepared to demonstrate the intended purpose and to avoid inadvertent disclosure,” Hampton said. “Risk managers should be aware that privilege may be waived and should avoid conduct that might constitute a waiver of the privilege.”
The complete article, “Protect Privileged Information in Adverse Events,” appeared in Healthcare Risk Management on August 1, 2016.