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Is requesting a doctor’s credentialing file always feasible?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

When you visit a medical facility for treatment, you may expect doctors to be capable of providing you with a certain standard of care. After all, doctors spend years studying and training to practice medicine and go through extensive vetting processes before obtaining a position at a facility within their chosen fields. 

While the pre-employment screening process helps determine if a doctor is capable of and suited for the position, is this system inherently infallible? Should the unthinkable occur, you might wish to request a review of a doctor’s credentialing file, but there are statutes in place that may influence the outcome of such a petition. 

Recent cases 

Requests for the submission of credentialing files played a vital role in two recent medical malpractice claims. In the first case, a woman filed a medical malpractice claim against a doctor after claiming that her husband suffered a stroke and died during an unnecessary operation.  

During legal proceedings, she requested the submission of the doctor’s peer review documents. The hospital responded by stating that such information was privileged and, as such, refused to provide it. However, after evaluating various aspects of the peer review process, the court decided to allow certain documents to be submitted into discovery, citing that the information within was based on a personnel decision and did not include sensitive information. 

During a case in another state, a lower court ruled to allow requests to submit credentialing information for doctors after stating that the statutes protecting such information do not apply to reviews conducted by organizations but only by review committees. However, the Supreme Court ruled to overturn this decision by broadening the terms regarding which groups the statute can protect. 

When the unthinkable occurs 

If the negligent actions of a medical professional cause you to suffer life-altering harm or lose someone close, you may wish to take every possible measure to seek restitution and accountability. Since such a process can be exceedingly complex, it could be in your best interests to speak with someone with intricate knowledge of Delaware state medical malpractice laws and statutes for guidance.  

This consultation could help provide you with insight into all your available options and cover every vital aspect of the subsequent process. Such a decision might prove integral to helping you prepare to seek the total amount of restitution you deserve and help shift your focus to approaching the recovery period with peace of mind.