Health Systems Quality Assurance System

Washington State Department of Health | WSDH | Health Systems Quality Assurance System | Credentials and Licensing | An Administrative Lawyer’s Perspective.

"Pacific Medical Center pano 01" by Joe Mabel. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

“Pacific Medical Center pano 01” by Joe Mabel. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Washington State Department of Health is required to publish actions taken against Washington State health care providers and the various facilities via its online Health Systems Quality Assurance credentialing system. The laws that created the Department of Health require they do so as it serves the mission of protecting and improving the health of the people in Washington State by supporting public health and healthcare.

In Washington, between 2011-13, there were 2,604 disciplinary actions, of which 27 percent were resolved with informal dispositions, 24 percent by formal resolutions with agreed orders, 26 percent by default, 6 percent with final orders after hearings and 28% were resolved with notice of decisions. 2011-2013 Uniform Disciplinary Act, Biennial Report, pg.7.

Investigative files and disciplinary documents are part of the public record, meaning, they can be accessed if someone wants to go to the trouble of filing a public records request. Lawyers | attorneys can ask for records to be sealed for various reasons, but the default position of the Department of Health is disclosure.

Disclosure to National Practitioner Data Bank  is beyond the scope of this article, though the following is a nice summary article  on which actions are reportable and which are not.

Most people do not go through the trouble of filing a public record request and so most clients are interested in what, if any, information about their case is readily available via the Health Systems Quality Assurance credentialing system in Washington. As attorneys, we commonly see:

Stipulations to Informal Dispositions (STID). Stipulations are published as well as the Statement of Allegations.

Stayed Suspensions. These are published.

Summary Suspensions, Limitations or Restrictions. Published.

Surrender of License. Published.

Defaults. Published.

Voluntary participation in a State sanctioned Chemical Dependency Program. In general, when someone voluntarily enters these programs, not based on a referral, short of failing to comply with the program such that you become a danger to the public, you are not reported absent sexual boundary issues or patient harm issues … it will not show up in this data base. If you are considering this avenue, set an appointment with the lawyers in our office to discuss your decision and situation in detail. It is wise to consult and involve counsel through such a process for a variety of reasons.

This firm of lawyers is a unique blend of litigation skills, experience, knowledge and temperament. Whether we are in the role of legal counsel, ambassador, negotiator, or litigator, we have years of experience resolving complex situations with our clients’ best interests in mind. Choosing incompetent, lazy or ineffective counsel can make your legal journey a long and difficult road. This firm is founded on a service, a blue-collar work ethic, teamwork and an intense dislike of losing. Call 206-708-7852 to set up an appointment to discuss your situation.

Robert Rhodes

With a successful background in law, courtrooms, wrestling, rugby and jujitsu, Robert Rhodes’s nature is well-suited for argument and litigation. Mr. Rhodes knows how to talk clearly and directly to his clients, adversaries and to the Court. His common sense, straight talk and experience put his clients immediately at ease. Mr. Rhodes does not do anything half way and you will sense this when you meet him. Read more >>