North Cypress Medical Center hospital medical malpractice lawyer/attorney


Since April 2011, Medicare & Medicaid have cited North Cypress Medical Center for 8 violations

September 13, 2017

As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice attorney, I have represented numerous clients in lawsuits involving healthcare provided at North Cypress Medical Center.

Most recently, we successfully handled a matter involving North Cypress Medical Center bariatric surgeons. I find myself thinking of our client rather often, considering the terrible pain, nausea, vomiting, and inability to eat that is still being experienced years after what should have been a rather simple procedure.

About the hospital

North Cypress Medical Center is located at 21214 NW Freeway, Cypress, Texas 77429, which is in the Northwest Houston area. It is a general acute care hospital with 175 beds. The hospital advertises that it has an “upscale 5-star hotel-like ambience.”

North Cypress Medical Center is a physician- owned hospital. Many experts are critical of physician-owned hospitals because of the fight that it creates financial incentives for doctors to improperly refer patients to facilities where they have a financial interest or to order unnecessary medical procedures that will line their own pockets.

The hospital offers health care services including a breast center, cancer services, cardiac/heart center and rehabilitation unit, chemotherapy and infusion center, concussion management program, dialysis center, emergency room, radiology imaging services, and intensive care unit, a pediatrics unit, physical therapy and rehabilitation services, a sinus center, sleep center, spine center, sports medicine services, a stroke center, weight-loss center, wound care and hyperbaric medicine unit, and vain center. In addition, the hospital offers a number of surgical procedures, including robotic surgery, bariatric procedures, and gastric bypass, hysterectomy, prostatectomy, atrial fibrillation and Sensei X procedure, Whipple procedure, balloon sinuplasty, orthopedic surgery, and other procedures.

Care issues at North Cypress Medical Center

As an experienced medical malpractice lawyer, I make it a habit of investigating past care issues involving hospitals where our clients were patients. Part of this research includes reviewing survey reports from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This federal government agency sends inspectors surveyors to hospitals to assess the quality of care provided. When surveyors identify problems or deficiencies, they issue violations and expect the hospital administrators to fix them.

Since April 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has cited North Cypress Medical Center with eight violations.

On April 12, 2011, a surveyor wrote a violation report because the hospital violated patient rights concerning notice of the grievance decision. The surveyor found that the hospital did not respond in writing to the complaints of a patient’s family.

A second a violation on the same date was critical of inadequate registered nursing supervision of nursing care. Specifically, the surveyor was concerned about an incident when a patient was found lying on the floor in her room, but the nursing staff did not assess negative effects after medication was administered, as required by the hospital’s protocol. From various lawsuits that I have handled involving poor nursing care, I am aware that the Texas Board of Nursing rules require registered nurses to understand the rationale and effects of medications that they administer. This means that the standard of care requires registered nurses to monitor patients for potential side effects after giving the medications. In addition, the surveyor found that the facility did not document physician notification after a patient was found on the bathroom floor of his room. The surveyor also noted that the hospital did not follow its own fall-prevention protocol to document incidents of patients falling in the medical records.

On March 21, 2012, a Medicare/Medicaid surveyor cited North Cypress Medical Center for two additional violations. The first violation dealt with failure of the nursing staff to develop a nursing care plan for a patient. The standard of care requires registered nurses to assess their patients and then develop a nursing care plan, which is constantly reviewed and updated, to guide to nursing care. The surveyor found that the hospital failed to develop a patient plan of care that involves education of patients regarding safety precautions while they are on oxygen therapy. The surveyor felt that this failure by the hospital had the potential to adversely affect all patients on the unit receiving oxygen therapy.

The surveyor cited the hospital with a second violation on this date for inadequate registered nurse supervision of nursing care. The surveyor found that the hospital failed to ensure that its staff evaluated the safety needs of patients by adhering to the hospital’s fire responsibility protocol. The violation expressed concern that a visitor notified the hospital’s nursing staff of smelling smoke on a unit, but the nursing staff did not activate the fire alarm system per the protocol. The surveyor described this incident as an adverse patient event.

As a former hospital administrator, I realize that hospital policies and procedures are helpful, but equally important is constant training to ensure that hospital employees are aware of the policies and procedures, and follow them. When a hospital’s nursing staff disregards policies and procedures, it can place patient safety at risk.

On January 17, 2014, the hospital received a violation for patient safety following an adverse event. This resulted from the discovery that a staff nurse had been using a single-patient insolent pen on multiple patients, which risked cross-contamination of blood-borne pathogens. The surveyor notify the hospital that it had failed to identify critical system failure regarding knowledge and communication of current professional literature concerning medication safety issues. The surveyor also noted that the hospital did not evaluate potential risks regarding other patient care devices, and was critical of the hospital for not including all relevant team members in the root cause analysis to discover why this serious error occurred and how to prevent it in the future.

The second violation on this date concerned pharmacist responsibilities. The surveyor found that the hospital pharmacist failed to supervise and coordinate all activities of the pharmacy services, including failure to evaluate and disseminate current medication safety information regarding the misuse of insulin pens.

On July 27, 2015, a Medicare/Medicaid surveyor cited North Cypress Medical Center for two more violations. The first violation on this date dealt with patient rights concerning informed consent. The surveyor found instances where the hospital failed to ensure that patients had executed an appropriate and complete informed consent before having a lumbar puncture.

Informed consent is the process where a doctor explains the risks and benefits of a proposed treatment, such as a surgery. Simply stated, it is the patient giving permission to the doctors and nurses to provide treatment. Under Texas law, a doctor must obtain informed consent before proceeding to treat a patient. Most hospital policies and procedures require the nursing staff to make sure that signed informed consent is in the medical records before a surgery proceeds.

The second violation on this date addressed emergency services policies. The surveyor found that the hospital failed to ensure that a patient received procedure-specific discharge instructions after having a lumbar puncture procedure.

As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I have seen countless medical records where this is a problem. When patients are treated in the emergency room or are admitted to a hospital, they should be provided with discharge instructions when they leave the hospital. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen that hospital discharge instructions were not specific to the medical issue. On other occasions, the discharge instructions recommended the patient to return to the hospital if he or she had certain symptoms that were already documented to be present at the time of discharge.

In my opinion, problems with inadequate discharge instructions sometimes indicate that healthcare providers are going through the motions, rather than focusing on the unique care needs of specific patients.

We are here to help

If you or someone you care for has been seriously injured as a result of poor medical or nursing care at North Cypress Medical Center, 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.

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Robert Painter is an attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He files medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits against doctors, surgeons, and hospitals, like North Cypress Medical Center.

Robert Painter

Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.


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