January 1, 2009

Regulators crack down on Bristol Hospital

The state Department of Public Health and Bristol Hospital signed a consent decree this week that mandates the hospital take steps to improve care. Here is a copy of the decree.

Here's a news story I batted out this afternoon:
After state inspectors found numerous problems with the care offered at Bristol Hospital, the hospital and state regulators signed a consent order this week that promises high quality care and slaps the hospital with a $4,000 fine.
The state Department of Public Health disciplined the hospital after inspectors found a series of violations that included a serious burn from an MRI machine.
The inspections, which occurred between April and October last year, also found a number of instances where patients received inadequate care.
The consent decree spells out changes the hospital is required to make during the next two years in order to improve the quality of its care and to ensure the safety of patients.
The hospital says it has “already implemented many of the points” contained in the Dec. 30 consent decree.
“Bristol Hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care in the safest possible environment,” Kurt Barwis, president of the hospital, said in statement.
“We are the ninth hospital in Connecticut this year to sign a consent agreement.,” Barwis added.
“We recognize that this process helps us to improve the care we provide.We will see to it that the opportunities for improvement directly benefit our patients and our community,” he said.
The hospital said it is reviewing its policies and procedures to make sure medications are administered and documented correctly, that patients are informed of care plans and much more.
“Every employee and member of our medical staff is 100% committed to providing outstanding patient care,” Barwis said.
“We will continue to refine our systems and processes, adopt appropriate quality improvement strategies, and engage all of those involved in the delivery of care throughout the organization to ensure a culture of safety and quality,” the hospital chief said.
In one case, inspectors determined that in October 5, 2007, a woman came in with congestive heart failure. She asked for cardiac resuscitation and ventilation if necessary, but no feeding tube or tracheostomy.
As her condition deteriorated, her code status was revised to “comfort status only” though there was nothing in the records to indicate she’d been consulted. She died that evening with only a morphine drip to keep her from pain.
That same patient was also given more morphine than records called for..
Most of the problems in the state report, which is available online, related to the administration and recordkeeping of medicine and providing information to patients.
But in one case that inspector found, a man getting an MRI last January did not receive the protective padding required and wound up with a severe burn that was so deep that doctors eventually had to cut down to an arm muscle to care for it.

The hospital issued this statement in response to the decree:
On December 30, 2008 Bristol Hospital signed a consent order with the Connecticut Department of Public Health. This order resulted from several inspections carried out by the Department of Public Health between April 2008 and October 2008. This agreement spells out specific issues that Bristol Hospital needs to address over the next two years in order to improve the quality and ensure the safety of the care that is provided to patients. Bristol Hospital has already implemented many of the points agreed to in the order and have been approved by the State.
“Bristol Hospital is committed to providing the highest quality care in the safest possible environment,” stated Kurt Barwis, President and CEO of Bristol Hospital. “We are the ninth hospital in Connecticut this year to sign a consent agreement. We recognize that this process helps us to improve the care we provide. We will see to it that the opportunities for improvement directly benefit our patients and our community.”
As part of the consent agreement between Bristol Hospital and DPH, Bristol Hospital has already implemented extensive reviews of policies and procedures regarding the administration and documentation of medications; revised policies and procedures related to informed patient rights related to plan of care and advanced directives; enhanced education for staff on patient assessments and current standards and practice related to pharmacology regimes, including medication titration protocols; and the review of policies and procedures related to MRI safety precautions and practices.
“Every employee and member of our medical staff is 100% committed to providing outstanding patient care,” stated Barwis. “We will continue to refine our systems and processes, adopt appropriate quality improvement strategies, and engage all of those involved in the delivery of care throughout the organization to ensure a culture of safety and quality.”

*******
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

8 comments:

Concerned Conservative said...

It's ironic that government puts such pressure on private hospitals such as mandating that people be allowed unrestricted access to the Emergency Room, government than is charged with scrutinizing the management of the hospitals.

I recall waiting in the ER (with my kid for something relatively serious) behind some guy with no health insurance who was there for a sore throat.

Harl Delos said...

A $4,000 fine is cracking down?

To put things in perspective, that would be less money than the hospital would spend annually if they provided free white shoe polish to their nurses.

Concerned Conservative: emergency rooms don't take patients in the order they arrive, nor do they treat patients with more serious illnesses first.

If your kid had a terminal case of cancer, that's as serious as it gets, but it's unlikely that it will make much difference if he waits two hours, so he might wait a while.

Someone who is bleeding might not be in any danger of dying, but waiting a couple of hours could make a big difference, so he probably will be seen right away.

Triage nurses sometimes make mistakes, with the result that patients sometimes die while waiting for hours in the ER, but it's better than first-come, first-served.

It doesn't sound like you think people with sore throats belong in the ER. I don't, either. Let's pass universal health care so he comes into a clinic by appointment for treatment, instead of sitting in a waiting room for hours, infecting everyone in sight.

Anonymous said...

Yah, but we got NO SMOKING on our streets.

Anonymous said...

This action does not surprise me in the least. Every time family or friends have gone to Bristol Hospital we have been shocked at their poor treatment and filthy conditions. My wife's uncle was a patient there several years ago. He complained to the nurses of constant back pain but they soon came to ignore his complaints. It turned out he had internal bleeding which was only discovered after his entire back had turned purple. When we went to visit him the halls were filled with dirty bed linens and the whole place was filthy. My nephew's son was sent home from the ER after being told he had a slight concussion. That turned out to be a skull fracture. An acquaintance who was take to the ER by police after threatening suicide was released within hours after basically being asked if she felt better now. Almost every interaction family and friends have had with this institution has left a bad taste.

I realize that the same used to be said about New Britain General and other area hospitals and we could have just had bad luck but the sheer volume of bad experiences makes me doubt it.

Concerned Conservative said...

Harl:

I don't need a lecture in hospital administration from a liberal who thinks "universal health care" will solve the problems of society when actually it may just lead to the end it.

What would solve the problem which I cited is when Connecticut ceases to become one of the easiest places on Earth to obtain welfare. It would also cease if people like the man I described had the common sense enough to visit a walk-in clinic during the day.

And by the way Mr. Delos, if I were you I would refrain from passing judgement to parents of children if and how serious a certain child's health condition is unless you are an MD.

Anonymous said...

This is long, but all true and is a reflection of my personal opinion. Bristol Hospital is terrible. I truly hope I never have a life or death situation that requires me to go there, because I will surely not survive!!
Bristol Hosp EMS is TERRIBLE. Their response time is very long. At least 12-15 minutes everytime I've called for myself or others. They have to come all the way from Upper Terryville Ave for every emergency. Some of the EMT's are unprofessional and clueless. I had to take an ambulance recently and the two female EMT's couldnt even lift up the stretcher into the ambulance. My Wife had to help them!! Yes, I weigh 275 pounds, but there is still no excuse! They need peoper tools and training to do thier jobs correctly.
Don't get me wrong. The EMT's are nice people. But they don't have enough training, in my opinion. The mindest of almost every Bristol Hospotal employee that I've come in contact with is very Lacadazical. There is NO sense of urgency or pride in any of them!! None of them that I've delt with personally, pay attention to details and they seem very careless. The ER nurses are overweight, old and slow as heck. Then when it's time for discharge they get annoyed if you ask questions. They basically hand you the discharge instructions and want you to read it, instead of taking time to explain. They are not helpful and don't seem like they want to be there. They act like they are doing you a favor and will get to it when the damn well feel like it. They sit around gossiping and bullshitting instead of working. Or they are sometimes too busy ordering chinese or people's choice instead of caring for the patients.

While there recently I also ovserved TWO different employees emptying the dirty/soiled laundry baskets. They took out the full bags of dirty laundry and piled them right onto one of the wheelchairs that were in the hallway and used the chairs to walk the bags down the hallway. How disgusting and unsanitary!!! Bed sheets,towels and gowns with crap, pee, blood, vomit and who knows WTF else...were just placed on wheelchairs. HELLO, these should be used to transport patients. NOT Laundry!!. I wouldnt doubt if they do the same for trash. Did they ever hear of a utility cart or maybe some arm strength to carry the bags?

There is just no excuse and I don't even want to know what other kinds of disgusting things they employees do. The ER Doc seem to treat you as if you are bothering them by being there, or they treat you like a druggie...like you are there just looking for a prescription of pain pills. Sure, many people are there for that reason. But they shouldn't assume its the same for everyone.

Everytime myself or a family member was inpatient, mistakes were made. Allergies were not observed. Drug interatcions were not watched. And NOBODY seems to pay attention to details. They ask you the same questions over and over by multiple nurses and doctors....instead of just looking in the patients medical record and nursing records. Also I observed MANY, MANY employees around town in their work scrubs. Smoking, grocery shopping, pumping gas. I thought hospital scrubs were to be worn to help keep diseases out of the Hospital and to keep it semi-sanitary? They are just dragging in all the germs and sicknesses from around town....right into the hospital. What is the purpose of scrubs if they don't use them properly?
It's really sad, unprofessional and pathetic in my humble opinion. That place is terrible and from now on I will go to New Britain....or elsewhere...like Middlesex Hosp in Middletown and Mid-State Hosp in Meriden. Those are GREAT Hospitals. Very clean, Very friendly and caring staff that love their jobs. Bristol Hospital needs a MAJOR overhaul. I hope they get more violations and MANY more fines. They deserve every single one of them.

Want to Help said...

Anyone with any issues should contact Tim Furey, Board Chair.

I am sure he will be interested in what you have to say.

Anonymous said...

Ya Tim Furey would have been really interested LOL. Nobody will listen over there thats why I don't waste my time.