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Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Medical Review Subcommittee

Active dates:1987 -
Function: The Medical Review Subcommittee meets on a regular basis throughout the year to review deaths and serious injuries of clients. The Medical Review Subcommittee does not do an in-depth review of every death or serious injury that is reported. The MRS has established guidelines used by the Medical Review Coordinator to determine when a reported death needs to be prepared for review by the MRS.

The purpose of review by the MRS is to seek opportunities to improve the care delivery system. The MRS does not have a punitive focus and avoids duplication of the work of agencies such as the Office of Health Facility Complaints (OHFC) and Dept. of Human Services Licensing that do detailed investigations and have sanction authority. If the MRS discovers a situation that needs that kind of investigation, then referrals are made to the appropriate agency/agencies or licensing board(s). The MRS works collaboratively with the referral agency or board but avoids duplication of effort.

Statute describes the subcommittee's role this way:
(1) make a preliminary determination of whether the death of a client that has been brought to its attention is unusual or reasonably appears to have resulted from causes other than natural causes and warrants investigation;
(2) review the causes of and circumstances surrounding the death;
(3) request the county coroner or medical examiner to conduct an autopsy;
(4) assist an agency in its investigations of unusual deaths and deaths from causes other than natural causes;
(5) make a preliminary determination of whether the death of a participant in a clinical drug trial conducted by the University of Minnesota Department of Psychiatry appears to have resulted from causes other than natural causes and warrants investigation and reporting as required by federal laws on the protection of human subjects; and
(6) submit a report regarding the death of a client to the committee, the ombudsman, the client's next-of-kin, and the facility where the death occurred and, where appropriate, make recommendations to prevent recurrence of similar deaths to the head of each affected agency or facility, or the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota.
Membership: 5 members of the Ombudsman Committee for Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities serve on this subcommittee. Subcommittee members must include at least three physicians, one of whom is a psychiatrist; they are designated by the Governor, who also designates one member to serve as chair.
Internet resource:
Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Record last updated: 06/02/2017

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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