On June 28, 2018, the First District Illinois Appellate Court in the case of Daley v. Teruel and Ingalls Memorial Hospital, 2018 IL App (1st) 170891 reversed an earlier ruling in the trial court that ordered the production of incident reports. The Appellate Court ruled instead that the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (42 U.S.C. §299b-21 et seq. (2012)) and Illinois Medical Studies Act (735 ILCS 5/8-2101 et seq. (2016) provided privilege for incident and risk reports because they are created as "patient safety work product". The Court's ruling found that both the U.S. Congress and Illinois Legislature had created a "safe haven" to analyze voluntarily created materials to improve patient outcomes and patient safety. Therefore, reports and materials intended to be submitted to certified-Patient Safety Organizations are privileged from being turned over in discovery in civil litigation regarding patient claims of medical negligence.
You have been injured at work. Your employer is paying your medical bills. Your doctor has taken you off of work, and you are receiving your TTD (Temporary Total Disability) payments regularly and on-time. Your case is moving along fine, but your pain is not improving, and now your doctor wants you to have surgery. You then receive a letter from your employer's Workers Compensation insurance carrier, and they are requesting you to drive 150 miles to see a doctor you have never been to before. They are also telling you that until this examination is complete and they have received the findings from the doctor, they are not willing to authorize the recommended surgery.