(1) Any health care provider as defined in RCW 7.70.020 (1) and (2) who, in good faith, files charges or presents evidence against another member of their profession based on the claimed incompetency or gross misconduct of such person before a regularly constituted review committee or board of a professional society or hospital whose duty it is to evaluate the competency and qualifications of members of the profession, including limiting the extent of practice of such person in a hospital or similar institution, or before a regularly constituted committee or board of a hospital whose duty it is to review and evaluate the quality of patient care and any person or entity who, in good faith, shares any information or documents with one or more other committees, boards, or programs under subsection (2) of this section, shall be immune from civil action for damages arising out of such activities. For the purposes of this section, sharing information is presumed to be in good faith. However, the presumption may be rebutted upon a showing of clear, cogent, and convincing evidence that the information shared was knowingly false or deliberately misleading. The proceedings, reports, and written records of such committees or boards, or of a member, employee, staff person, or investigator of such a committee or board, are not subject to review or disclosure, or subpoena or discovery proceedings in any civil action, except actions arising out of the recommendations of such committees or boards involving the restriction or revocation of the clinical or staff privileges of a health care provider as defined in RCW 7.70.020 (1) and (2).
(2) A coordinated quality improvement program maintained in accordance with RCW 43.70.510 or 70.41.200, a quality assurance committee maintained in accordance with RCW 18.20.390 or 74.42.640, or any committee or board under subsection (1) of this section may share information and documents, including complaints and incident reports, created specifically for, and collected and maintained by, a coordinated quality improvement committee or committees or boards under subsection (1) of this section, with one or more other coordinated quality improvement programs or committees or boards under subsection (1) of this section for the improvement of the quality of health care services rendered to patients and the identification and prevention of medical malpractice. The privacy protections of chapter 70.02 RCW and the federal health insurance portability and accountability act of 1996 and its implementing regulations apply to the sharing of individually identifiable patient information held by a coordinated quality improvement program. Any rules necessary to implement this section shall meet the requirements of applicable federal and state privacy laws. Information and documents disclosed by one coordinated quality improvement program or committee or board under subsection (1) of this section to another coordinated quality improvement program or committee or board under subsection (1) of this section and any information and documents created or maintained as a result of the sharing of information and documents shall not be subject to the discovery process and confidentiality shall be respected as required by subsection (1) of this section and by RCW 43.70.510(4),70.41.200 (3), 18.20.390 (6) and (8), and 74.42.640 (7) and (9).
[2005 c 291 § 1; 2005 c 33 § 5; 2004 c 145 § 1; 1981 c 181 § 1; 1979 c 17 § 1; 1977 c 68 § 1; 1975 1st ex.s. c 114 § 2; 1971 ex.s. c 144 § 1.]
| Reviser's note: This section was amended by 2005 c 33 § 5 and by 2005 c 291 § 1, each without reference to the other. Both amendments are incorporated in the publication of this section under RCW 1.12.025(2). For rule of construction, see RCW 1.12.025(1).|
Findings -- 2005 c 33: See note following RCW 18.20.390.