Duty to report violent injuries — Preservation of evidence — Immunity — Privilege.
*** CHANGE IN 2013 *** (SEE 5305.SL) ***
(1) A hospital shall report to a local law enforcement authority as soon as reasonably possible, taking into consideration a patient's emergency care needs, when the hospital provides treatment for a bullet wound, gunshot wound, or stab wound to a patient who is unconscious. A hospital shall establish a written policy to identify the person or persons responsible for making the report.
(2) The report required under subsection (1) of this section must include the following information, if known:
(a) The name, residence, sex, and age of the patient;
(b) Whether the patient has received a bullet wound, gunshot wound, or stab wound; and
(c) The name of the health care provider providing treatment for the bullet wound, gunshot wound, or stab wound.
(3) Nothing in this section shall limit a person's duty to report under RCW 26.44.030 or 74.34.035.
(4) Any bullets, clothing, or other foreign objects that are removed from a patient for whom a hospital is required to make a report pursuant to subsection (1) of this section shall be preserved and kept in custody in such a way that the identity and integrity thereof are reasonably maintained until the bullets, clothing, or other foreign objects are taken into possession by a law enforcement authority or the hospital's normal period for retention of such items expires, whichever occurs first.
(5) Any hospital or person who in good faith, and without gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct, makes a report required by this section, cooperates in an investigation or criminal or judicial proceeding related to such report, or maintains bullets, clothing, or other foreign objects, or provides such items to a law enforcement authority as described in subsection (4) of this section, is immune from civil or criminal liability or professional licensure action arising out of or related to the report and its contents or the absence of information in the report, cooperation in an investigation or criminal or judicial proceeding, and the maintenance or provision to a law enforcement authority of bullets, clothing, or other foreign objects under subsection (4) of this section.
(6) The physician-patient privilege described in RCW 5.60.060(4), the registered nurse-patient privilege described in RCW 5.62.020, and any other health care provider-patient privilege created or recognized by law are not a basis for excluding as evidence in any criminal proceeding any report, or information contained in a report made under this section.
(7) All reporting, preservation, or other requirements of this section are secondary to patient care needs and may be delayed or compromised without penalty to the hospital or person required to fulfill the requirements of this section.
[2009 c 359 § 2.]