Kingwood Medical Center medical malpractice lawyer/attorney
Since November 2012, Medicare and Medicaid surveyors have cited Kingwood Medical Center with nine violations
As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I have represented a number of clients in negligence and wrongful death cases involving care at Kingwood Medical Center.
Based on our experience with this hospital, we know how to obtain the medical records, radiology studies, policies and procedures, and other documents necessary to investigate medical negligence cases on behalf of patients and their families.
About the hospital
Kingwood Medical Center is owned by the mega-hospital chain, HCA Healthcare, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition to Kingwood Medical Center, HCA owns dozens of other hospitals in Texas.
Kingwood Medical Center has been open for over 25 years, and advertises itself as a full-service 373-bed acute care hospital, where over 450 physicians have staff privileges. It is certified as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, and also has a cardiovascular center, women’s center, children’s center, neonatal intensive care units, an obstetrical emergency department, a pediatric emergency department and a general emergency room.
Medicare and Medicaid survey violations
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid conducts surveys of hospitals all over the country. The purpose of these site-visits is to assess the quality and safety of care provided at hospitals.
Kingwood Medical Center has received been cited with nine violations since November 2012.
On November 27, 2012, the hospital received two citations.
The first citation involved the hospital’s failure to send a written acknowledgment of a patient grievance. As a Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I have formed the opinion that many hospitals have a patient grievance system that is a joke, mainly operated by sending out form letters that an investigation revealed that no doctor or nurse made any mistake. In the unanswered grievance at Kingwood Medical Center, the complaint involved the patient’s heels being soft and mushy when he arrived into a rehabilitation unit.
The second citation concerned inadequate supervision by a registered nurse of nursing care involving pressure sore prevention. Specifically, a review of patient records showed a failure to document measurements of pressure ulcers, as required by hospital policy, as well as a failure to obtain physician orders for pressure ulcer treatments, and not performing skin risk assessments.
The next violation made on a site survey was on July 17, 2013, and involved a violation of patient rights for restraint or seclusion. A review of medical records showed that seven out of eight patients were restrained without documentation of an appropriate order by a physician. As a medical malpractice attorney, I have represented clients in numerous cases where restraints were an issue. Accreditation agencies require hospitals to have policies and procedures on restraints, because they can cause a patient’s condition to deteriorate quickly.
On January 2, 2015, the hospital had two more violations.
The first citation concerned administration of drugs. The surveyor found an instance where the nursing staff failed to document medication doses being given, and failed to obtain a physician order for a continuation of home medications. From a variety of medical negligence cases that I have handled, I know that having a complete and accurate list of medications, as well as when medications were administered and at what doses, are critical to patient safety. Without this information, there is a danger of significant drug-drug interactions, and it can also impair physician assessment to explain changes in mental status, for example.
The second violation involved a delay in implementing incentive spirometry for patients. Surgeons often order spirometry after a procedure to help restore a patient’s lung and breathing capacity.
The next violation was on March 13, 2015, and again involved a problem with Kingwood Medical Center’s patient grievance process. While the hospital’s written policy requires a director/manager to respond to a grievance within 45 days from the date of the original complaint, the surveyor found an instance where this was not done. Unfortunately, I have found that hospital grievance processes are often a waste of time, particularly after care has been concluded. On the other hand, when a patient is still in the hospital, appealing to an ombudsman or administrator can be an effective way to get much-needed care.
On October 8, 2015, Kingwood Medical Center received an additional violation notice from a Medicare/Medicaid surveyor. Once again, this citation involved in adequate registered nurse supervision of nursing care for assessing and reassessing a patient’s status around the time of administration of medications.
From my experience as a medical negligence attorney, I find this to be significant. The standard of care and hospital policies correctly require reassessment of the patient after medication is given, to ensure that there is no adverse reaction that requires immediate intervention. It is simply a matter of safety. The standard of care requires hospitals to get adequate training to their nursing staff to ensure that this important safety rule is followed consistently. This reminds me of a wrongful death case that I handle on behalf of the family of an elderly woman who was overmedicated with strong narcotic pain medications, but never reassessed by the nursing staff.
The Medicare/Medicaid surveyor next cited Kingwood Medical Center for a violation on January 14, 2016, involving infection control issues. The surveyor found that the hospital failed to ensure that physician and staff used personal protective equipment in the operating room, cleaned and disinfected the operating room in between cases, and stored clean and sterile supplies properly. It is easy to understand how this could be a serious threat to patient safety. If an operating room is not properly cleaned and disinfected in between surgeries, there is an unnecessary, avoidable risk of contamination and infecting the next patient.
The most recent violation was on March 27, 2017, and, for the third time, involves patient rights and grievances. Once again, the surveyor found that the hospital administration failed to timely respond to a patient grievance.
We are here to help
If you had a bad experience at Kingwood Medical Center, where poor health care lead to a serious injury, call the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, at 281-580-8800, for a free consultation about your potential case.
Our practice focuses on investigating and suing hospitals and doctors who provide negligent, sub- standard care to patients. We know how to navigate the complex Texas medical malpractice laws on behalf of our clients.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston Texas. He files and handles medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of patients and their families.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.
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