Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 32.1. Health
Chapter 4. Health Care Planning
12/7/2022

Article 3.1. Emergency Medical Services Patient Care Information System.

§ 32.1-116.1. Prehospital patient care reporting procedure; trauma registry; confidentiality.

A. In order to collect data on the incidence, severity, and cause of trauma; integrate the information available from other state agencies on trauma; improve the delivery of prehospital and hospital emergency medical services, the quality of patient care, and access to medical services; and make other system improvements, there is hereby established the Emergency Medical Services Patient Care Information System. The Emergency Medical Services Patient Care Information System shall include the Virginia Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Registry and the Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry.

B. All licensed emergency medical services agencies shall participate in the Virginia EMS Registry by making available to the Commissioner or his designees the minimum data set in the format prescribed by the Board or any other format which contain equivalent information and meets any technical specifications of the Board. The minimum data set shall include, but not be limited to, the type of medical emergency or nature of the call, the response time, the treatment provided and other items as prescribed by the Board.

Each licensed emergency medical services agency shall, upon request, disclose the prehospital care report to law-enforcement officials (i) when the patient is the victim of a crime or (ii) when the patient is in the custody of the law-enforcement officials and has received emergency medical services or has refused emergency medical services.

The Commissioner may delegate the responsibility for collection of this data to the Office of Emergency Medical Services personnel or individuals under contract to the Office. The Advisory Board shall assist in the design, implementation, subsequent revisions and analyses of the data from the Virginia EMS Registry.

C. All licensed hospitals which render emergency medical services shall participate in the Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry by making available to the Commissioner or his designees abstracts of the records of all patients admitted to the institutions with diagnoses related to trauma. The abstracts shall be submitted in the format prescribed by the Department and shall include the minimum data set prescribed by the Board. Such abstracts shall also be provided to regional emergency medical services councils upon request, for uses limited to monitoring and improving the quality of emergency medical services pursuant to § 32.1-111.3.

The Commissioner shall seek the advice and assistance of the Advisory Board and the Trauma System Oversight and Management Committee in the design, implementation, subsequent revisions and analyses of the Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry.

D. Patient and other data or information submitted to the trauma registry or transmitted to the Commissioner, the Advisory Board, any committee acting on behalf of the Advisory Board, any hospital or prehospital care provider, any regional emergency medical services council, permitted emergency medical services agency, or other group or committee for the purpose of monitoring and improving the quality of care pursuant to § 32.1-111.3, shall be privileged and shall not be disclosed or obtained by legal discovery proceedings, unless disclosure is made in accordance with § 32.1-116.2 or a circuit court, after a hearing and for good cause shown arising from extraordinary circumstances, orders disclosure of such data.

E. The Commissioner shall make available and share all information contained in the Virginia Statewide Trauma Registry with the Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services so that the Department may develop and implement programs and services for persons suffering from brain injuries and spinal cord injuries.

1987, c. 480; 2002, cc. 568, 658; 2003, c. 471; 2006, c. 412; 2007, c. 13; 2008, c. 563; 2012, cc. 402, 803, 835; 2018, c. 195; 2020, c. 883.

§ 32.1-116.1:1. Disclosure of medical records.

Any licensed physician, licensed health care provider, or licensed health care facility may disclose to emergency medical services personnel, an emergency medical services physician, or their licensed parent agency the medical records of a sick or injured person to whom such emergency medical services personnel or emergency medical services physician is providing or has rendered emergency medical care for the purpose of promoting the medical education of the specific person who provided such care or for quality improvement initiatives of their agency or of the emergency medical services system as a whole. Any emergency medical services personnel or emergency medical services physician to whom such confidential records are disclosed shall not further disclose such information to any persons not entitled to receive that information in accordance with the provisions of this section.

1988, c. 486; 2007, c. 13; 2008, c. 118; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 32.1-116.1:2. Expired.

Expired.

§ 32.1-116.2. Confidential nature of information supplied; publication; liability protections.

A. The Commissioner and all other persons to whom data is submitted shall keep patient information confidential. Mechanisms for protecting patient data shall be developed and continually evaluated to ascertain their effectiveness. No publication of information, research or medical data shall be made which identifies the patients by names or addresses, except as specified in subsection B. The Commissioner or his designees may utilize institutional data in order to improve the quality of and appropriate access to emergency medical services and to improve the health of citizens of the Commonwealth.

B. In accordance with the State Board of Health's regulations and applicable federal law and regulations, the Commissioner may disclose information, research, or medical data that identifies patients by name or address if the Commissioner determines that such disclosure is necessary to develop and implement programs that improve the quality of patient care, improve access to medical services, or make other system improvements. The Commissioner shall only disclose such information with entities, including but not limited to other Virginia state agencies and programs, federal agencies and programs, the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, or recognized research institutions and organizations, that seek to improve quality of care, improve access to medical services, or make other system improvements.

C. No individual, licensed emergency medical services agency, hospital, Regional Emergency Medical Services Council or organization advising the Commissioner shall be liable for any civil damages resulting from any act or omission preformed as required by this article unless such act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct.

1987, c. 480; 2020, c. 883.

§ 32.1-116.3. Reporting of communicable diseases; definitions.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Communicable disease of public health threat" means an illness of public health significance, as determined by the State Health Commissioner in accordance with regulations of the Board of Health, caused by a specific or suspected infectious agent that may be reasonably expected or is known to be readily transmitted directly or indirectly from one individual or person to another or to uninfected persons through airborne or nonairborne means and has been found to create a risk of death or significant injury or impairment; this definition shall not, however, be construed to include human immunodeficiency viruses or tuberculosis, unless used as a bioterrorism weapon. "Individual" shall include any companion animal.

"Communicable diseases" means any airborne infection or disease, including, but not limited to, tuberculosis, measles, certain meningococcal infections, mumps, chicken pox and Hemophilus Influenzae Type b, and those transmitted by contact with blood or other human body fluids, including, but not limited to, human immunodeficiency virus, Hepatitis B and Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis.

B. Every licensed health care facility that transfers or receives patients via emergency medical services vehicles shall notify the emergency medical services agencies providing such patient transport of the name and telephone number of the individual who is the infection control practitioner with the responsibility of investigating exposure to infectious diseases in the facility.

Every emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner and that is established in the Commonwealth shall notify all facilities to which it transports patients or from which it transfers patients of the names and telephone numbers of the members, not to exceed three persons, who have been appointed to serve as the exposure control officers. Every emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner shall implement universal precautions and shall ensure that these precautions are appropriately followed and enforced.

C. Upon requesting any emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner to transfer a patient who is known to be positive for or who suffers from any communicable disease, the transferring facility shall inform the attendant-in-charge of the transferring crew of the general condition of the patient and the types of precautions to be taken to prevent the spread of the disease. The identity of the patient shall be confidential.

D. If any firefighter, law-enforcement officer, or emergency medical services provider has an exposure of blood or body fluid to mucous membrane or non-intact skin or a contaminated needlestick injury, his exposure control officer shall be notified, a report completed, and the infection control practitioner at the receiving facility notified.

E. If, during the course of medical care and treatment, any physician determines that a patient who was transported to a receiving facility by any emergency medical services agency that holds a valid license issued by the Commissioner (i) is positive for or has been diagnosed as suffering from an airborne infectious disease or (ii) is subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, then the infection control practitioner in the facility shall immediately notify the exposure control officer who represents the transporting emergency medical services agency of the name of the patient and the date and time of the patient's admittance to the facility. The exposure control officer for the transporting emergency medical services agency shall investigate the incident to determine if any exposure of emergency medical services personnel or other emergency personnel occurred. The identity of the patient and all personnel involved in any such investigation shall be confidential.

F. If any firefighter, law-enforcement officer, or emergency medical services provider is exposed to a communicable disease, the exposure control officer shall immediately notify the infection control practitioner of the receiving facility. The infection control practitioner of the facility shall conduct an investigation and provide information concerning the extent and severity of the exposure and the recommended course of action to the exposure control officer of the transporting agency.

G. Any person requesting or requiring any employee of a public safety agency as defined in subsection M of § 32.1-45.2 to arrest, transfer, or otherwise exercise custodial supervision over an individual known to the requesting person (i) to be infected with any communicable disease or (ii) to be subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2 shall inform such public safety agency employee of a potential risk of exposure to a communicable disease.

H. Local or state correctional facilities which transfer patients known to have a communicable disease or to be subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2 shall notify the emergency medical services agency providing transportation services of a potential risk of exposure to a communicable disease, including a communicable disease of public health threat. For the purposes of this section, the chief medical person at a local or state correctional facility or the facility director or his designee shall be responsible for providing such information to the transporting agency.

I. Any person who, as a result of this provision, becomes aware of the identity or condition of a person known to be (i) positive for or to suffer from any communicable disease, or to have suffered exposure to a communicable disease or (ii) subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, shall keep such information confidential, except as expressly authorized by this provision.

J. No person known to be (i) positive for or to suffer from any communicable disease, including any communicable disease of public health threat, or (ii) subject to an order of quarantine or an order of isolation pursuant to Article 3.02 (§ 32.1-48.05 et seq.) of Chapter 2, shall be refused transportation or service for that reason by an emergency medical services, law-enforcement, or public safety agency.

1988, cc. 760, 789; 1989, c. 443; 1993, c. 655; 2004, cc. 773, 1021; 2008, c. 118; 2009, cc. 478, 552; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2020, c. 502.