As a licensed healthcare provider, you have mandatory reporting requirements
Upon your initial application for licensure, you will be required to answer a series of questions designed to disclose past conduct that may have an adverse impact on your ability to practice your profession. Thereafter, you have a continuing obligation to report specified incidents to your licensing Board, often within 10 days of the occurrence of the incident, or at the time of your license renewal.
The reporting laws are complex and nuanced. Although it is tempting to rationalize why the incident in question need not be reported, this is often a mistake, because the failure to report a reportable incident is itself a violation. Before you report, or decide not to report, you are encouraged to seek experienced legal counsel, to determine first if a report is in fact and law required to be made, and second, how best to make the report to minimize any adverse impact on you or your license.
For physicians, incidents subject to mandatory reporting include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Criminal convictions or felony arrests;
- Discipline by other state licensing boards;
- Loss of privileges, withdrawal, resignation, or limitation of practice; and
- Medical incompetence, unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, or physical incapacity
To get started, physicians should consult the following reporting statutes and agency rule:
- ORS 676.150: Duty to report prohibited or unprofessional conduct, arrests and convictions
- ORS 677.190: Grounds for suspending, revoking or refusing to grant license
- ORS 677.415: Reports to board; penalty for failure to report official action
- OAR 847-010-0073: Reporting Requirements
For nurses, incidents subject to mandatory reporting include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A nurse imposter;
- Practicing nursing without a license;
- Arrest or conviction of a crime which relates adversely to the practice of nursing or the ability to safely practice nursing;
- Dismissal from employment due to unsafe practice or conduct derogatory to the standards of nursing;
- Client abuse;
- Conduct derogatory to the standards of nursing as defined;
- Any violation of a disciplinary sanction imposed on the licensee by the Board of Nursing;
- Failure of a nurse not licensed in Oregon and hired to meet a temporary staffing shortage to apply for Oregon licensure by the day the nurse is placed on staff;
- Substance abuse as defined in ORS 678.111(e); and
- Any other cause for discipline as defined in ORS 678.111.
To get stated, RNs and LPNs should consult the following chapter:
Mandatory reporting can be assisted by a healthcare defense attorney
As you can see, mandatory reporting can present complicated questions. I am frequently asked, “do I have the report this, and if so, how soon?” My initial reaction is usually accurate, but in almost all cases, I will look it up myself. The reason I look it up is that as a healthcare defense attorney, I represent too many professions (physicians, pharmacists, nurses, acupuncturists, etc.), and there are too many reporting requirements to commit it all to memory. Also, in close-call cases, accurate reporting requires some analysis, or you risk under-reporting or over-reporting. Under reporting (i.e., failing to report) exposes you to discipline and other problems with your licensing Board or other important institutions, while over-reporting (i.e., unnecessary reporting) exposes you to a process most licensed professionals prefer to avoid. So again, before you report (or decide not to), you are encouraged to seek competent legal counsel, to determine first if a report is in fact and law required to be made, and second, how best to make the report to minimize any adverse impact on you or your license.