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Medical Review Subcommittee

The Medical Review Subcommittee (MRS) is empowered under MN Stat. 245.97, Subd. 5, and 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(view definitions) 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.

In looking for opportunities to improve the care delivery system, the MRS looks not only at the individual cases but also for patterns and trends. When patterns or trends appear, the MRS uses the opportunity to make recommendations to the delivery system. These recommendations may come in the form of a letter to an individual part of the delivery system or in the form of a Medical Update. Medical Updates are available via our mailing list.

Medical Updates are issued at least twice each year. The Summer Alert covers such topics as Heat Stroke and Water Safety. The Winter Alert includes information on Hypothermia and Frostbite. While some topics may seem obvious, the Alerts are designed to remind caregivers of some of the unique and additional needs of people with disabilities. The MRS shares what it has learned in an attempt to assist providers to avoid the same or similar problems experienced by other agencies, facilities, and clients. Recent Medical Alerts include the Delay of Treatment Alert and the Choking is a Medical Emergency Alert.

Medical Updates and Alerts are posted on the Ombudsman's website, and an email is sent to each address on the List Service. Individuals, agencies, and facilities are invited to subscribe to the free Medical Alert Email List Service.

For further information about the MRS, please see our most recent Biennium Report to the Governor (PDF).

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