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Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS)
Sections 439.800 to 439.890

Chapter 439 – Administration of Public Health
Health and Safety of Patients at Certain Medical Facilities
(§§ 439.800 to 439.890)
of Title 40 - Public Health and Safety

Note Law from 2005 - AB59 that was added and [deleted] effective October 1, 2005 to existing sections of 439.800 to 439.890 below. Official codification of law pending.
  • NRS 439.800 – Definitions.
    As used in NRS 439.800 to 439.890, inclusive, and section 1 of 2005 - AB59, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and terms defined in NRS 439.805 to 439.830, inclusive, and section 1 of 2005 - AB59 have the meanings ascribed to them in those sections.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 13]
  • 2005 AB59, Section 1“Facility Acquired Infection” defined.
    "Facility Acquired Infection" means a localized or systemic condition which results from an adverse reaction to the presence of an infectious agent or its toxins and which was not detected as present or incubating at the time a patient was admitted to a medical facility, including, without limitation:
    • 1. Surgical Site Infections;
    • 2. Ventilator-associated pneumonia;
    • 3. Central line-related bloodstream infections;
    • 4. Urinary tract infections; and
    • 5. Other categories of infections as may be established by the Administrator by regulation pursuant to NRS 439.890.
    (Added to NRS by 2005 73rd Session of the General Assembly [PDF])
  • NRS 439.805 – “Medical facility” defined.
    "Medical facility" means: [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 13]
  • NRS 439.810 – "Patient" defined.
    "Patient" means a person who:
    • 1. Is admitted to a medical facility for the purpose of receiving treatment;
    • 2. Resides in a medical facility; or
    • 3. Receives treatment from a provider of health care.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 13]
  • NRS 439.815 – "Patient safety officer" defined.
    "Patient safety officer" means a person who is designated as such by a medical facility pursuant to NRS 439.870.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 13]
  • NRS 439.820 – "Provider of health care" defined.
    "Provider of health care" means a person who is licensed, certified or otherwise authorized by the laws of this state to administer health care in the ordinary course of the business or practice of a profession.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 13]
  • NRS 439.825 – "Repository" defined.
    "Repository" means the Repository for Health Care Quality Assurance created by NRS 439.850.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 13]
  • NRS 439.830 – "Sentinel Event" defined.
    "Sentinel event" means an unexpected occurrence involving "facility-acquired infection", death or serious physical or psychological injury or the risk thereof, including, without limitation, any process variation for which a recurrence would carry a significant chance of a serious adverse outcome. The term includes loss of limb or function.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 13]
  • NRS 439.835 – Mandatory reporting of sentinel events.
    • 1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2:
      • (a) A person who is employed by a medical facility shall, within 24 hours after becoming aware of a sentinel event that occurred at the medical facility, notify the patient safety officer of the facility of the sentinel event; and
      • (b) The patient safety officer shall, within 13 days after receiving notification pursuant to paragraph (a), report the date, the time and a brief description of the sentinel event to:
        • (1) The Health Division; and
        • (2) The representative designated pursuant to NRS 439.855, if that person is different from the patient safety officer.
    • 2. If the patient safety officer of a medical facility personally discovers or becomes aware, in the absence of notification by another employee, of a sentinel event that occurred at the medical facility, the patient safety officer shall, within 14 days after discovering or becoming aware of the sentinel event, report the date, time and brief description of the sentinel event to:
      • (a) The Health Division; and
      • (b) The representative designated pursuant to NRS 439.855, if that person is different from the patient safety officer.
    • 3. The Administrator shall prescribe the manner in which reports of sentinel events must be made pursuant to this section.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 13]
  • NRS 439.840 – Reports of sentinel events: Duties of Health Division; confidentiality.
    • 1. The Health Division shall, to the extent of legislative appropriation and authorization:
      • (a) Collect and maintain reports received pursuant to NRS 439.835; and
      • (b) Ensure that such reports, and any additional documents created from such reports, are protected adequately from fire, theft, loss, destruction and other hazards and from unauthorized access.
    • 2. Reports received pursuant to NRS 439.835 are confidential, not subject to subpoena or discovery and not subject to inspection by the general public.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 14]
  • NRS 439.845 – Analysis and reporting of trends regarding sentinel events; treatment of certain information regarding corrective action by medical facility.
    • 1. The Health Division shall, to the extent of legislative appropriation and authorization, contract with a quality improvement organization, as defined in 42 C.F.R. § 400.200, to analyze and report trends regarding sentinel events.
    • 2. When the Health Division receives notice from a medical facility that the medical facility has taken corrective action to remedy the causes or contributing factors, or both, of a sentinel event, the Health Division shall:
      • (a) Make a record of the information;
      • (b) Ensure that the information is aggregated so as not to reveal the identity of a specific person or medical facility; and
      • (c) Transmit the information to a quality improvement organization.
    • 3. A quality improvement organization to whom information is transmitted pursuant to subsection 2 shall, at least quarterly, report its findings regarding the analysis of aggregated trends of sentinel events to the Repository for Health Care Quality Assurance.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 14]
  • NRS 439.850 – Repository for Health Care Quality Assurance: Creation; function.
    • 1. The Repository for Health Care Quality Assurance is hereby created within the Health Division.
    • 2. The Repository shall, to the extent of legislative appropriation and authorization, function as a clearinghouse of information relating to aggregated trends of sentinel events.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 14]
  • NRS 439.855 – Notification of patients involved in sentinel events.
    • 1. Each medical facility that is located within this state shall designate a representative for the notification of patients who have been involved in sentinel events at that medical facility.
    • 2. A representative designated pursuant to subsection 1 shall, not later than 7 days after discovering or becoming aware of a sentinel event that occurred at the medical facility, provide notice of that fact to each patient who was involved in that sentinel event.
    • 3. The provision of notice to a patient pursuant to subsection 2 must not, in any action or proceeding, be considered an acknowledgment or admission of liability.
    • 4. A representative designated pursuant to subsection 1 may or may not be the same person who serves as the facility's patient safety officer.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 14]
  • NRS 439.860 – Inadmissibility of certain information in administrative or legal proceeding.
    Any report, document and any other information compiled or disseminated pursuant to the provisions of NRS 439.800 to 439.890, inclusive, and section 1 of 2005 - AB59 is not admissible in evidence in any administrative or legal proceeding conducted in this state.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 15]
  • NRS 439.865 – Patient safety plan: Development; approval; notice; compliance.
    • 1. Each medical facility that is located within this state shall develop, in consultation with the providers of health care who provide treatment to patients at the medical facility, an internal patient safety plan to improve the health and safety of patients who are treated at that medical facility.
    • 2. A medical facility shall submit its patient safety plan to the governing board of the medical facility for approval in accordance with the requirements of this section.
    • 3. After a medical facility's patient safety plan is approved, the medical facility shall notify all providers of health care who provide treatment to patients at the medical facility of the existence of the plan and of the requirements of the plan. A medical facility shall require compliance with its patient safety plan.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 15]
  • NRS 439.870 – Patient safety officer: Designation; duties.
    • 1. A medical facility shall designate an officer or employee of the facility to serve as the patient safety officer of the medical facility.
    • 2. The person who is designated as the patient safety officer of a medical facility shall:
      • (a) Serve on the patient safety committee.
      • (b) Supervise the reporting of all sentinel events alleged to have occurred at the medical facility, including, without limitation, performing the duties required pursuant to NRS 439.835.
      • (c) Take such action as he determines to be necessary to ensure the safety of patients as a result of an investigation of any sentinel event alleged to have occurred at the medical facility.
      • (d) Report to the patient safety committee regarding any action taken in accordance with paragraph (c).
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 15]
  • NRS 439.875 – Patient safety committee: Establishment; composition; meetings; duties; proceedings and records are privileged.
    • 1. A medical facility shall establish a patient safety committee.
    • 2. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3:
      • (a) A patient safety committee established pursuant to subsection 1 must be composed of:
        • (1) The patient safety officer of the medical facility.
        • (2) At least three providers of health care who treat patients at the medical facility, including, without limitation, at least one member of the medical, nursing and pharmaceutical staff of the medical facility.
        • (3) One member of the executive or governing body of the medical facility.
      • (b) A patient safety committee shall meet at least once each month.
    • 3. The Administrator shall adopt regulations prescribing the composition and frequency of meetings of patient safety committees at medical facilities having fewer than 25 employees and contractors.
    • 4. A patient safety committee shall:
      • (a) Receive reports from the patient safety officer pursuant to NRS 439.870.
      • (b) Evaluate actions of the patient safety officer in connection with all reports of sentinel events alleged to have occurred at the medical facility.
      • (c) Review and evaluate the quality of measures carried out by the medical facility to improve the safety of patients who receive treatment at the medical facility.
      • (d) Make recommendations to the executive or governing body of the medical facility to reduce the number and severity of sentinel events that occur at the medical facility.
      • (e) At least once each calendar quarter, report to the executive or governing body of the medical facility regarding:
        • (1) The number of sentinel events that occurred at the medical facility during the preceding calendar quarter; and
        • (2) Any recommendations to reduce the number and severity of sentinel events that occur at the medical facility.
    • 5. The proceedings and records of a patient safety committee are subject to the same privilege and protection from discovery as the proceedings and records described in NRS 49.265.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 15]
  • NRS 439.880 – Immunity from criminal and civil liability.
    No person is subject to any criminal penalty or civil liability for libel, slander or any similar cause of action in tort if he, without malice:
    • 1. Reports a sentinel event to a governmental entity with jurisdiction or another appropriate authority;
    • 2. Notifies a governmental entity with jurisdiction or another appropriate authority of a sentinel event;
    • 3. Transmits information regarding a sentinel event to a governmental entity with jurisdiction or another appropriate authority;
    • 4. Compiles, prepares or disseminates information regarding a sentinel event to a governmental entity with jurisdiction or another appropriate authority; or
    • 5. Performs any other act authorized pursuant to NRS 439.800 to 439.890, inclusive[.] , and section 1 of 2005 - AB59.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 16]
  • NRS 439.885 – Violation by medical facility: Administrative sanction prohibited when voluntarily reported.
    If a medical facility:
    • 1. Commits a violation of any provision of NRS 439.800 to 439.890, inclusive, and section 1 of 2005 - AB59 or for any violation for which an administrative sanction pursuant to NRS 449.163 would otherwise be applicable; and
    • 2. Of its own volition, reports the violation to the Administrator,
    • NOTE: Such a violation must not be used as the basis for imposing an administrative sanction pursuant to NRS 449.163.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 16]
  • NRS 439.890 – Adoption of regulations.
    The Administrator shall adopt such regulations as the Administrator determines to be necessary or advisable to carry out the provisions of NRS 439.800 to 439.890, inclusive.
    [Added to NRS by 2002 Special Session, 16]
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