Are morbidity and mortality conferences discoverable

Even though we, as the attorney, are permitted to obtain the patient’s hospital records, the mortality and morbidity conferences are privileged discussions which means that as the attorney who represents an injured victim, we are unable to gain any information about what is discussed during these meetings.

The answer should be no, because in most states, physicians may safely participate in M & M conferences, as data from these proceedings are considered “confidential” and are not “discoverable” in a court of law.


What are morbidity and mortality conferences?

Morbidity and mortality (M&M) conferences are traditional, recurring conferences held by medical services at academic medical centers, most large private medical and surgical practices, and other medical centers. Their use in psychiatric medicine is less evident.

Can I learn who attended a mortality and morbidity Conference during deposition?

When I question a doctor at a deposition during a lawsuit, I permitted to learn whether or not a particular patient’s case was discussed during a mortality and morbidity conference. I’m permitted to learn who attended such a conference. I’m permitted to learn whether anyone in attendance was taking notes.

How are mortality and morbidity groups classified in hospitals?

Some hospitals have multiple mortality and morbidity groups and categorize them by specialty. Others have one global committee for the entire hospital.

What is a mortality review task force?

A Mortality Review Task Force reviews and selects cases to be presented at each M&MC conference. Cases selected include all deaths, significant patient injuries, and near-death situations. A core team of senior quality consultants prepares the selected cases for presentation, gathering and reviewing information that may have caused the case.

What is the purpose of a morbidity and mortality conference?

Objective: The morbidity and mortality conference (M&MC) is a traditional forum that provides clinicians with an opportunity to discuss medical error and adverse events.

What is the purpose of an M&M meeting?

The objectives of a well-run M&M conference are to identify adverse outcomes associated with medical error, to modify behavior and judgment based on previous experiences, and to prevent repetition of errors leading to complications. Conferences are non-punitive and focus on the goal of improved patient care.

Are morbidity and mortality conferences Real?

Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) Conferences are an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) mandated educational series that occur regularly at all institutions that have residency training programs.

What is an M&M in a hospital?

In certain circumstances—typically deaths resulting from medical errors and unforeseen complications—a resident physician may be required to present on an adverse outcome, in front of faculty and peers, at a morbidity and mortality conference (M&M).

What is a Morbidity and Mortality Review?

A morbidity and mortality review (MMR) is a collective review of the medical files of a patient whose outcome has been marked by an adverse event such as death or the occurrence of a complication.

How do you present a mortality meeting?

Ground RulesFollow the format.No finger-pointing – focus on systems of care rather than individual errors.Confidentiality – avoid patient identifiers (no names, dates, record numbers) and do not discuss casually outside the conference.

What is it called when doctors meet to discuss patients?

A doctor’s visit, also known as a physician office visit or a consultation, or a ward round in an inpatient care context, is a meeting between a patient with a physician to get health advice or treatment plan for a symptom or condition, most often at a professional health facility such as a doctor’s office, clinic or …

What does morbidity stand for?

Listen to pronunciation. (mor-BIH-dih-tee) Refers to having a disease or a symptom of disease, or to the amount of disease within a population. Morbidity also refers to medical problems caused by a treatment.

What is a mortality rate of a disease?

A mortality rate is the number of deaths due to a disease divided by the total population. If there are 25 lung cancer deaths in one year in a population of 30,000, then the mortality rate for that population is 83 per 100,000.

What is surgical morbidity?

Operative morbidity is the temporary or permanent disability observed during and after an operation. In The STS and EACTS Congenital Heart Databases, operative morbidity is defined as any morbidity that occurs during the time interval between OR Entry Date and Time and the end of the period of data collection.

What is a mortality review?

Clinical mortality review is the process by which medical and other disciplinary experts review the circumstances of an individual death to explore root causes and identify interventions to prevent future deaths.

What is an M&M candy?

M&M’s (stylized as m&m’s) are multi-colored button-shaped chocolates, each of which has the letter “m” printed in lower case in white on one side, consisting of a candy shell surrounding a filling which varies depending upon the variety of M&M’s.

What is the greatest impediment to error prevention in the medical industry?

The single greatest impediment to error prevention in the medical industry is that we punish people for making mistakes.

Can you discuss M&M in a meeting?

Discussion points, analysis, or potential solutions should not be included in the M&M presentation; however, these topics can be discussed verbally in the meeting.

Is patient data protected under HIPAA?

Remember that information is protected. It includes patient data and as such is protected under HIPAA. Do not put it in publicly available platforms such as Google Slides or Zoom.

What is a morbidity conference?

A mortality and morbidity conference is part of the hospital’s quality assurance protocol. Every hospital has created a committee to review bad outcomes and complications in an attempt to create quality control at the hospital. They apparently do it in order to review bad outcomes, complications and unintended events that have occurred to patients while undergoing care and treatment at their hospital.

Why are healthcare providers trying to do their level best to understand what happened?

The rationale for this is that these healthcare providers are trying to do their level best to understand what happened and then to create a way to make sure these types of events do not happen again. The thinking in New York State is that if attorneys who represent injured victims were allowed access to these meetings it would inhibit and prevent the health care professionals from openly and freely discussing the events that occurred and finding ways to improve the health care provided in the hospital.


The purpose of the M&M Conference is to provide a safe venue for residents to identify areas of improvement, and promote professionalism, ethical integrity and transparency in assessing and improving patient care.

Case Selection

Cases should be selected from the entire practice population. Cases (inpatient or outpatient), should involve:

What is morbidity and mortality conference?

The morbidity and mortality conference (M&MC) is one forum that provides clinicians with an opportunity to discuss medical error and adverse events. The M&MC became a major part of physician education in the early 20th century, following the publication of the Flexner report on medical education in 1910 and the creation of the American College of Surgeons in 1912.1, 2 These early conferences were attended primarily by surgeons and anesthesiologists and were used to examine medical errors and adverse outcomes in an attempt to improve surgical practice.

How effective is MM&I?

The structured hospital-wide MM&I conference is an effective way to engage multiple members of the health care team in a discussion of adverse outcomes, while collaboratively focusing on potential systems-based improvements in patient care and safety. Nonjudgmental case discussion helps overcome the individual’s fear of accusation and criticism, which can stifle honest exchange of information and hinder improvement initiatives. Identification of potential system failures by participants, empowerment of workgroups to address specific systems-based problems, and transparent accountability for regular followup can lead to improved patient safety.

Leave a Comment