Posted on Mar 16, 2005 in Formal Opinions

Opinion Letter No. 05-05
March 16, 2005
Report for Quality Improvement Forms

The Department of Emergency Services (“DES”), City and County of Honolulu, asked OIP whether it is appropriate under the UIPA for DES to disclose Report for Quality Improvement forms (“RQIs”) to (1) the public and (2) the United Public Workers Local 646 (“UPW”).

OIP concluded that certain information within the RQIs may be withheld from the public on the basis that their disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy under the UIPA. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-13(1). Specifically, there are grounds for withholding the portions of the RQIs related to (a) the patient information and (b) the evaluation of the emergency personnel.

In addition to being withheld on the basis of the protection of privacy, the RQIs, or portions thereof, may possibly be withheld from disclosure under section 92F-13(3), HRS, which provides that government records may be withheld where they are of such nature that disclosure would frustrate a legitimate government purpose.

In the context of a class action grievance, the UIPA requires DES to provide the UPW with access to all RQIs involving Unit 10 employees, but only the portion of the RQI that constitutes the DES employee’s personal record must be disclosed to the UPW. The portion of the RQI that constitutes the patient’s personal record must be redacted prior to disclosing the RQI to the UPW.

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