Last week, Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center solidified its vow to correct a long list of safety lapses by submitting a corrective action plan to the federal government.
The move comes in response to a scathing report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and a number of investigative reviews by news organizations, identifying systemic shortcomings with the hospital’s quality of care.
Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, a once prestigious Houston hospital jointly owned by Baylor College of Medicine and CHI St. Luke’s Health, has faced months of intensive scrutiny over serious safety lapses, dangerous medical mistakes, and unsanitary conditions. Here’s a brief history as accounted for in recent the new reports:
Last month, investigators with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and Texas Department of State Health Services released a 200+ page report chronicling the many deficiencies for which St Luke’s was cited. The report, regulators note, highlights the hospital’s systemic, pervasive failures to implement adequate processes to ensure staff followed protocol, and that the hospital could correct serious mistakes in a timely manner.
The report highlights the serious repercussions of repeated safety lapses and a culture of non-compliance – including preventable infections, surgical errors, and nursing and physician mistakes. Many compliance failures identified by regulators were deemed to place patients in “Immediate Jeopardy” of serious injuries or death.
A few of the issues identified in the report include:
From kitchens and administrative back rooms to the operating theatre, outpatient program, and nearly all aspects of St. Luke’s care, regulators found glaring failures that have shaken the hospital’s leadership and instilled fear and distrust among patients and their families.
Though the corrective action plan and a public statement issued by the hospital’s new President suggest St. Luke’s is working to improve policies and regain its stripped federal certification, only time will tell whether those improvements will come to fruition, positively impact quality of care and, most importantly, improve patient safety.
Bailey Cowan Heckaman PLLC is a Houston-based trial law firm with a national reputation for our work in complex personal injury and wrongful death cases, including those involving pharmaceuticals and medical devices, hospital negligence, and medical malpractice.
Having represented many patients and families harmed by the regulatory violations, negligence, and administrative failures of health care providers, we know it’s vital for hospitals to take immediate and decisive corrective action following mistakes. Unfortunately for patients at St. Luke’s, as reports indicate, many failures persisted or worsened over periods of time, to the detriment of patient safety.
Victims who suffer preventable infections, complications, or other issues resulting in injuries, the death of a loved one, and related losses have every right to hold failing hospitals accountable. Not only can legal action provide needed justice and compensation, it can also compel providers into taking the necessary steps they should have always taken to protect patients in the future.
To learn more about your potential hospital negligence / medical malpractice case and how our award-winning Texas attorneys at BCH can help, contact us for a free case evaluation.