Exeter Hospital on 'Termination Track,' Says State Official

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , October 23, 2012

In closing, the hospital statement said "hospitals and regulators both need to embrace the need for increased review of even commonly used practices. As a result of our identifying Mr. Kwiatkowski's alleged criminal activities, we are thankfully (in) the final chapter in a national tragedy that has affected hospitals and, sadly, many of their patients across the nation."

In a July survey report, problems were identified with infection control policies and procedures that did not comply with recognized standards in the following areas:

  • Cleaning and disinfecting of equipment between patient uses on five of seven distinct hospital areas.
  • The appropriate gowning when entering the room of a patient on infection precaution on one of seven areas.
  • The criteria for employees with potential infectious process for being able to work in direct patient care.
  • Allowing an employee with draining wounds to work in an environment where invasive procedures were being performed.

Other deficiencies cited included:

  • The hospital "failed to follow proper practice of securing controlled medications from potential unauthorized use until the administration of medication has occurred."
  • The hospital's ceiling tiles located in semi-restricted corridors were perforated, meaning that they were not scrubbable or capable of withstanding cleaning and/or disinfecting chemicals.
  • The hospital lacked a policy for cleaning glucometers between patient use.
  • The hospital failed to assure that staff members working in surgical units wore contact precaution gear.
  • The hospital allowed a scrub technician to work with three open lesions and a finger cut that needed stitches at times during his employment.

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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