'Last Shot' for Embattled Exeter Hospital
Kiss of Death
CMS almost never takes the egregious step of denying a hospital's ability to receive payment for Medicare and Medicaid patients, which for most facilities represents so much money that it would be the kiss of death. But a read of the latest document may explain why regulatory agencies are having such a tough time with this small rural hospital.
Even though the so-called serial infector David Kwiatkowski, who faces charges from the U.S. Attorney's Office that he obtained controlled substances by fraud and tampering with a consumer product, has been terminated from hospital employment, a lax hospital culture that allowed his behavior to occur apparently remains.
Exeter failed to have an "effective governing body." It failed to keep drugs and biologicals secure, and its staff lacked full knowledge relating to the security of its drug access system, according to the report. The hospital failed to maintain secure access to the emergency department.
Infection control is biggest issue
But it is Exeter's basic infection control issues that are the biggest remaining concern, Martin says.
In August, another survey document detailed Exeter's failure to establish policies and procedures to prevent workers with open wounds from being near patients. One employee, subsequently identified as Kwiatkowski, was on several occasions seen to be working with "open lesions."
The latest report doesn’t mention that. But it does detail that the hospital failed to set up a hospital-wide infection control program and failed to ensure that infection control practices were followed on three out of four units. Inspectors observed personnel not following infectious disease protocols.
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