FACT FINDER: How safe is your hospital?

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Updated: 11/20/2012 9:27 am
RENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Expired medicine, inappropriate nursing decisions, and trails of bloody liquid in the hallway - all things which could take a hospital visit from lifesaving to life threatening. Each of those issues and more has been found by state inspectors at facilities in Reno, Sparks or Carson City since 2010.

Renown Regional Medical Center was the general hospital with the highest number of violations at 15 since 2010. Inspectors said a nurse quote: "performed an inaccurate assessment of a patient" causing her family undue concern. And in another case where staff failed to remove 24 staples from a 90 year patient.
The report reads: "there was not sufficient documentation to demonstrate that employee number 8 provided the necessary professional nursing care."

Most patients News 4 talked with say those citations don't represent what they've experienced. People like Kelly and Tawni McCrosky who feel Renown staff saved the life of seven month old Liam.

“We've been here three or four times and the entire time he has had the most amazing care,” Tawni said.

The purple hospital was also cited for a housekeeper using a dirty cleaning cloth, having a stove soiled with dust and debris, and an orderly spilling a bloody liquid on the floor - then pushing the gurney wheels through the drippings - possibly putting patients at risk of infection. A Renown company spokesperson declined an on-camera interview - instead e-mailing over this statement:

"At renown, we take seriously all care concerns brought to our attention and investigate promptly and thoroughly. Ensuring quality care is our ongoing commitment to our patients."

To put the violations at Renown in perspective they serve about 175,000 patients a year.
Northern Nevada medical center had the next highest amount of citations with seven coming from there about 24,000 patients annually,  Violations that stick out there are needles for use in the ER which were almost three years past their expiration date, and some unsafe cleaning practices.

A Northern Nevada spokesperson released this statement to News 4: "All concerns were immediately addressed to the state's satisfaction, and NNMC is in complete compliance.."

Over at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center with around 44,000 patients annually, they were cited five times for care concerns and an administrate issue.

A spokesperson for them wrote News 4 a statement from Katie Grimm, chief nursing officer: “Saint Mary’s is committed to providing quality care for our patients and we recognize how important it is to meet the standards set by local, state and national agencies. Our highly-trained staff are diligent about patient care procedures and we have systems in place to make sure they are followed. We welcome open feedback from our patients which helps us improve our standards of care and meet their expectations.”
And Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center also had five violations related to patient care concerns. That's for their around 70,000 patients. A spokesperson sent News 4 this reponse:

“Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center had total patient days of 124,059 from January 2010 through September 2012.  As State information is received, Carson Tahoe implements continuous improvement models to ensure quality patient care remains our first and foremost priority.

1.  From January 2010 through October 2012, 12 registered complaints were filed with the Bureau of Healthcare Quality and Compliance
2.  Of these 12 complaints, only 5, or 42%, resulted in a citing by the State.  7 or 58%, were unsubstantiated by the surveyor investigations
3.  Using the total patient days for this time period, only 0.0001% resulted in a registered complaint with the State
4.  Using the total patient days for this time period, only 0.00004% resulted in a registered citing by the State
5.  From the period of 2002 to 2009, only 2006 and 2007 had lower complaint numbers than 2010-2012. “

To see inspection reports for every healthcare facility in the state, visit: http://search.health.nv.gov/SOD/SearchProv.aspx?type=MED
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