State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_131E > GS_131E-80

§ 131E‑80.  Inspections.

(a)        The Departmentshall make or cause to be made inspections as it may deem necessary. Anyhospital licensed under this Part shall at all times be subject to inspectionsby the Department according to the rules of the Commission. Except as providedunder G.S. 131E‑77(b) of this Part, after the hospital's initiallicensing, any location included or added to the hospital's accreditationthrough an accrediting body approved pursuant to section 1865(a) of the SocialSecurity Act, shall be deemed to be part of the hospital's license; provided,however, that all locations may be subject to inspections which the Departmentdeems necessary to validate compliance with the requirements set forth in thisPart.

(b)        The Department maydelegate to any state officer or agency the authority to inspect hospitals. TheDepartment may revoke this delegated authority at its discretion and make itsown inspections.

(c)        Authorizedrepresentatives of the Department shall have at all times the right of properentry upon any and all parts of the premises of any place in which entry isnecessary to carry out the provisions of this Part or the rules adopted by theCommission; and it shall be unlawful for any person to resist a proper entry bysuch authorized representative upon any premises other than a private dwelling.However, no representative shall, by this entry onto the premises, endanger thehealth or well being of any patient being treated in the hospital.

(d)        To enable theDepartment to determine compliance with this Part and the rules promulgatedunder the authority of this Part and to investigate complaints made against ahospital licensed under this Part, while maintaining the confidentiality of thecomplainant, the Department shall have the authority to review any writing orother record in any recording medium which pertains to the admission,discharge, medication, treatment, medical condition, or history of persons whoare or have been patients of the hospital licensed under this Part and the personnelrecords of those individuals employed by the licensed hospital. Theexaminations of these records is permitted notwithstanding the provisions ofG.S. 8‑53, "Communications between physician and patient," orany other provision of law relating to the confidentiality of communicationsbetween physician and patient. Proceedings of medical review committees areexempt from the provisions of this section. The hospital, its employees, andany person interviewed during these inspections shall be immune from liabilityfor damages resulting from the disclosure of any information to the Department.Any confidential or privileged information received from review of records orinterviews shall be kept confidential by the Department and not disclosedwithout written authorization of the patient, employee or legal representative,or unless disclosure is ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction. TheDepartment shall institute appropriate policies and procedures to ensure thatthis information shall not be disclosed without authorization or court order.The Department shall not disclose the name of anyone who has furnishedinformation concerning a hospital without the consent of that person. Anyofficer, administrator, or employee of the Department who willfully disclosesconfidential or privileged information without appropriate authorization orcourt order shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and upon conviction shallonly be fined in the discretion of the court but not in excess of five hundreddollars ($500.00). Neither the names of persons furnishing information nor anyconfidential or privileged information obtained from records or interviewsshall be considered "public records" within the meaning of G.S. 132‑1,"Public Records" defined.

(e)        Information receivedby the Commission and the Department through filed reports, licenseapplications, or inspections that are required or authorized by the provisionsof this Part, may be disclosed publicly except where this disclosure wouldviolate the confidential relationship existing between physician and patient.However, no such public disclosure shall identify the patient involved withoutpermission of the patient or court order.  (1947, c. 933, s. 6; 1973, c. 476, s. 152; c. 1090,s. 1; 1981, c. 586, s. 3; 1983, c. 775, s. 1; 1993, c. 539, s. 957; 1994, Ex.Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2009‑487, s. 4(b).)