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A full state licensure survey of Jefferson Regional Medical Center conducted in October and November, 2010, found that the facility was not in compliance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Rules and Regulations for Hospitals.
According to the report, Jefferson failed to promptly report at least 38 hospital-acquired infections; neglected to document informed consent; failed to document verbal prescription orders; did not verify the identity of patients before surgery; had no plan for ensuring that all patients arriving at the emergency room were assessed; and did not perform required criminal background checks on employees who work with children, among other violations.
The hospital has agreed to implement corrective plans to remedy the safety violations and administrative deficiencies.
“Jefferson Regional Medical Center is fully licensed, and at no point has the license been in jeopardy,” Jefferson spokesperson Candy Williams told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review in an e-mail.
Hospital’s Negligent Procedures and Recordkeeping Could Threaten Patient Safety
The report, which is posted on the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website, included a review of hospital policies, patient records, and other data, as well as employee interviews.
According to the report, most of Jefferson’s patient safety violations involved the hospital’s negligence in routinely documenting that important patient safety measures had been followed or that patients’ informed consent had been obtained. The most serious violations occurred in six areas:
Proper documentation is the only way to know whether patients’ safety and legal rights are protected at hospitals and health care facilities. A hospital’s negligent failure to follow proper safety and informed consent procedures, and to document having done so, is not just a “paperwork error.” It puts every patient’s safety and health at risk.