Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center medical malpractice attorney/lawyer
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cited Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center for four violations since July 2014
As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I have represented numerous clients in lawsuits where the care at issue occurred at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center.
About this hospital
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center is a hospital affiliated with the national HCA Healthcare chain, which is based out of Texas. According to the March 29, 2017 report of the Texas Department of State Health Services Regulatory Services, the hospital is owned by New Medical Horizons II Ltd.
Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center is located at 10655 Steepletop Drive, Houston, Texas 77065. Its facility has 180 patient beds and nearly 500 doctors on its medical staff. The hospital has an emergency room and offers a number of services, including orthopedic care, brain and neurology care, cancer care, children’s services, digestive disorders, cardiac/heart care, imaging (CT, MRI, xray), labor and delivery, orthopedics, rehabilitation, surgical (operating room), urology, vascular care, weight loss/bariatric surgery, women’s health, and wound care.
Many people do not realize that the Texas Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine prohibits private hospitals from employing physicians. You would certainly not know that, based on all of the hospital advertising and billboards located along Houston’s freeways.
In order to comply with the law, hospitals give physicians permission—called staff privileges—to practice at their facilities. Once again, the hospital lobby effectively persuaded the Texas legislature and governor to keep the process of how a hospital decides to grant and maintain a doctor’s staff privileges completely confidential and privileged, even in the case of a medical malpractice a lawsuit.
Together, these laws create a system that affords hospitals the freedom of being able to advertise that they have highly-competent and capable physicians, without being burdened with any legal responsibility for that medical care. In fact, I believe that these laws have created a system that incentivizes hospitals to do little to ensure quality of care.
These types of backward-thinking laws make the governmental oversight role even more important when it comes to ensuring patient safety.
I find Texas government to conduct a rather minimal effort to ensure hospital safety. The federal government, though, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, conducts more robust oversight of licensed hospitals, including on-site inspections by its own surveyors.
From July 10, 2014, to the present, these federal government surveyors have cited Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center for four separate violations.
On July 10, 2014, the hospital was cited for a violation concerning its governing body. Specifically, the surveyor found that the hospital’s governing body failed to monitor the services provided by a contracted dialysis service to the facilities patients, to ensure that medical devices used to dialyzed patients were safe for use. During the site visit, the surveyor discovered that recalled dialysis equipment was being used to provide hemodialysis treatment of the hospital’s patients. The surveyor’s deficiency notice stated, “this failed practice had the potential for causing harm to all patients that use the recalled dialyzers.”
The surveyor cited the hospital a second time for the hospital governing body’s failure to provide proper oversight over contractors.
As a former hospital administrator, these violations really got my attention. Of all functions of the hospital’s governing body, first and foremost is ensuring that safe, quality care is being delivered in the facility. As a medical malpractice lawyer, it concerns me that the hospital was farming out to dialysis services to an outside contractor without adequate oversight, according to the surveyor’s violation notice. In the event that a patient had been injured from the recalled equipment, I feel confident that the hospital would have claimed no responsibility, and cast blame on the dialysis contractor.
The second set of violations were cited on January 15, 2015.
The first violation involved inadequate registered nurse supervision of nursing care. The surveyor found that emergency room nursing personnel were not documenting the chief complaints of patients who were evaluated and assessed by a registered nurse prior to discharge from the emergency room. In reviewing medical records, the Medicare and Medicaid surveyor found that evidence of registered nursing evaluations and assessments were missing on patients with a variety of symptoms, including worsening rectal bleeding; loss of appetite, decreased weight, dizziness, and rectal bleeding; abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; and early pregnancy cramps.
The second violation resulted from the hospital’s failure to implement its own infection control policy, which required staff to handle and store blood specimens in a manner to prevent cross contamination.
What you can do
If you have experienced poor health care at Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center, call the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, for a free evaluation of your potential case. Our telephone number is 281-580-8800.
Attorney Robert Painter is a member of Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He represents patients and their families and medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits against hospitals, doctors, pharmacies, laboratories, and other healthcare providers.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.
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Published in the July/August 2018 edition of "The Houston Lawyer" magazine