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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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