State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_122C > GS_122C-191

Part 6. Quality Assurance.

§ 122C‑191.  Quality ofservices.

(a)        The assurance thatservices provided are of the highest possible quality within availableresources is an obligation of the area authority and the Secretary.

(b)        Each area authorityand State facility shall comply with the rules of the Commission regardingquality assurance activities, including: program evaluation; utilization andpeer review; and staff qualifications, privileging, supervision, education, andtraining. These rules may not nullify compliance otherwise required by Chapter126 of the General Statutes.

(c)        Each area authorityand State facility shall develop internal processes to monitor and evaluate thelevel of quality obtained by all its programs and services including the activitiesprescribed in the rules of the Commission.

(d)        The Secretary shalldevelop rules for a review process to monitor area facilities and Statefacilities for compliance with the required quality assurance activities aswell as other rules of the Commission and the Secretary. The rules may providethat the Secretary has the authority to determine whether applicable standardsof practice have been met.

(e)        For purposes ofpeer review functions only:

(1)        A member of a dulyappointed quality assurance committee who acts without malice or fraud shallnot be subject to liability for damages in any civil action on account of anyact, statement, or proceeding undertaken, made, or performed within the scopeof the functions of the committee.

(2)        The proceedings of aquality assurance committee, the records and materials it produces, and thematerial it considers shall be confidential and not considered public recordswithin the meaning of G.S. 132‑1,
" 'Public records' defined," and shall not be subject to discovery orintroduction into evidence in any civil action against a facility or a providerof professional health services that results from matters which are the subjectof evaluation and review by the committee. No person who was in attendance at ameeting of the committee shall be required to testify in any civil action as toany evidence or other matters produced or presented during the proceedings ofthe committee or as to any findings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, orother actions of the committee or its members. However, information, documentsor records otherwise available are not immune from discovery or use in a civilaction merely because they were presented during proceedings of the committee,and nothing herein shall prevent a provider of professional health servicesfrom using such otherwise available information, documents or records inconnection with an administrative hearing or civil suit relating to the medicalstaff membership, clinical privileges or employment of the provider. Documentsotherwise available as public records within the meaning of G.S. 132‑1 donot lose their status as public records merely because they were presented orconsidered during proceedings of the committee. A member of the committee or aperson who testifies before the committee may be subpoenaed and be required totestify in a civil action as to events of which the person has knowledgeindependent of the peer review process, but cannot be asked about the person'stestimony before the committee for impeachment or other purposes or about anyopinions formed as a result of the committee hearings.

(3)        Peer reviewinformation that is confidential and is not subject to discovery or use incivil actions under this section may be released to a professional standards revieworganization that contracts with an agency of this State or the federalgovernment to perform any accreditation or certification function, includingthe Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. Informationreleased under this subdivision shall be limited to that which is reasonablynecessary and relevant to the standards review organization's determination togrant or continue accreditation or certification. Information released underthis subdivision retains its confidentiality and is not subject to discovery oruse in any civil actions as provided under this subsection, and the standardsreview organization shall keep the information confidential subject to thissection. (1977,c. 568, s. 1; 1979, c. 358, s. 1; 1983, c. 383, s. 1; 1985, c. 589, s. 2; 1989(Reg. Sess., 1990), c. 1053, s. 1; 1998‑212, s. 12.35C(d); 1999‑222,s. 1; 2004‑149, s. 2.7.)