Baptist Beaumont Hospital medical malpractice lawyer/attorney
Since May 2011, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have issues 38 violations to Baptist Beaumont Hospital
Baptist Beaumont Hospital is a private hospital located at 3080 College Street, Beaumont, TX 77701. The hospital has been in business for over 60 years and is part of the Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas. It is licensed for 508 beds.
The health services at Baptist Beaumont Hospital include a cancer center, heart/cardiovascular services, pediatric/children services, surgical services (including minimally invasive, bariatric, heart, vascular, orthopedic, general, gynecologic, and ear, nose, and throat [ENT] surgery), radiology scans (including x-ray, CT, MRI, and mammograms), an emergency room, behavioral health, and advanced primary stroke care center, and accredited Cycle IV chest pain center, and women’s services.
In my career as a Texas medical malpractice attorney, I have handled many cases in Beaumont.
Quality of care concerns
The federal government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regularly conducts site surveys and inspections at accredited hospitals. When a hospital fails to meet the market, the surveyor issues a written violation.
Since May 2011, Baptist Beaumont Hospital has been cited with an astounding 38 violations.
On July 29, 2016, the hospital received three violations. The first involved the facilities failure to ensure that defibrillator pads for an automatic external defibrillator (AED) device had not exceeded the expiration date. The surveyor cited the hospital for a second violation because its infection control officer failed to develop a program to ensure the maintenance of a sanitary hospital environment in two units (the Adolescent Unit and Senior Unit). The final violation on the state involved the hospital’s failure to offer adult and senior patients the opportunity to have family members, or other designated representatives, involved in the development of their inpatient care plan with treatment goals and modalities. The surveyor was critical of the facilities own handbooks as being unclear when it comes to care planning.
As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I have handled many cases where healthcare providers seemingly paid little attention to the concerns and opinions of patients and their family members. Medical research has established that the best results happen in healthcare when doctors and nurses seek the input of patients and family members in a collaborative effort.
On June 29, 2016, the Medicare/Medicaid surveyor cited Baptist Beaumont Hospital with two violations. First, the hospital was cited for violation of appropriate transfer procedures. The surveyor felt that the hospital’s deficient practice had the likelihood to affect all patients. The surveyor reviewed the facilities Memorandum of Transfer Log for a six-month period. The log is designed to capture patients who need transferred to a different facility because of an emergency medical condition. The surveyor found that almost all of the transfers reflected in the log were missing a physician signature attesting to the transfer, with some not even signed, timed, or dated by a registered nurse or a physician. The second violation involved recipient hospital responsibilities. The surveyor found that the hospital failed to accept the transfer of a patient requiring a higher level of care and specialized facilities. Specifically, the hospital refused to accept a patient based on residents and the inability for the local court system to be reimbursed. The surveyor noted that the hospital’s deficient practice have the likelihood to cause harm and all patients seeking care at the emergency room.
On September 18, 2015, the surveyor cited Baptist Beaumont Hospital with three additional violations. Two violations involved patient rights and grievances. The surveyor noted that the facility failed to assist the patient in completing a complaint and grievance procedure, and, in fact, the facility made no record of the complaint, even though it had been reported to a state hotline. The third violation on the state noted that the nursing staff failed to list a medical diagnosis, in a patient’s medical records, of a condition that was treated at the facility. The patient’s condition involved a urinary tract infection that was treated in the emergency room, prior to admission to the psychiatric unit.
On March 28, 2014, Medicare/Medicaid cited the hospital with five violations. Three citations involved the hospital for violation of patient rights. The surveyor found that the hospital failed provide appropriate monitoring of two patients to prevent them from harming themselves and others. A patient who was assigned one-to-one (1:1) monitoring by a staff member was left alone, which resulted in an attempted sexual assault of the patient by another patient. The surveyor found that the hospital’s deficient practices created an “immediate jeopardy situation,” creating the “likelihood of harm, serious injury, and subsequent death to all patients on the child/adolescent psychiatric unit.” The surveyor noted that the hospital failed in its quality improvement responsibilities, including its failure to follow its own policies, by not conducting an investigation and root cause analysis of this sexual assault incident. An additional two citations concerning the patient’s sexual assault addressed patient safety deficiencies and mistakes by the administration/governing body.
In my experience as a Texas medical malpractice attorney, the March 28, 2014 citations seriously concern me, because they suggest a pattern of practice from top to bottom that may endanger patient safety.
On January 16, 2014, Baptist Beaumont Hospital was cited by Medicare/Medicaid for two violations, both of which were related to the hospital’s failure to ensure an adequate number of nurses were available to deliver care to critical patients in two intensive care units (ICUs).
On December 19, 2013, the Medicare/Medicaid surveyor cited the hospital with four violations. The first found that the hospital and its governing body failed to ensure that employees followed the facilities grievance policy for patient complaints. The second violation found that the hospital failed to ensure that verbal orders and order sets were complete and signed off timely by a physician.
From my experience in filing and investigating many medical malpractice lawsuits, I know that the standard of care requires nursing staff to verify verbal orders. When a physician timely signs off on a nurse’s documentation of a verbal order, it provides an extra layer of security and patient safety.
The third violation on December 19th involved the failure of the hospital to ensure that the patient had a nursing care plan. The surveyor noted that the hospital’s deficient practice are likely to cause harm to all patients receiving intravenous (IV) therapy. A nursing care plan is required by the standard of care, as well as Texas nursing rules and regulations, to ensure that nursing care is individualized and goal-directed. The final violation on this date dealt with the same IV issue, because the hospital failed to ensure that blood transfusions were administered pursuant to hospital policy, which required review for blood administration and reactions.
On October 23, 2013, the hospital received five violations. Two violations dealt with the hospital’s failure to follow its own policy and procedures related to suicide precautions. These precautions include suicide assessment, percussion monitoring, and/or nursing assessments. The surveyor noted that the hospital’s deficient practice resulted in the death of a patient, because of a lack of suicidal assessment and monitoring. The surveyor expressed concern that the hospital’s deficient practice created and “immediate jeopardy situation and placed the health and safety of patients in serious jeopardy.”
Two additional violations on the state concerned nursing services. The surveyor found that the hospital’s failure to follow its own staffing grid resulted in an adequate nursing staff on patient care units to meet the needs of patients on five units. The surveyor noted that the hospital failed to provide adequate staffing for special levels of precaution for patients determined to need intensified patient supervision, which created a potential harm for all patients. Based on a review of records for a three-week period, for the adult psychiatric unit, 17 out of 66 shifts were staffed inadequately, nine shifts of which were short one license staff. For the acute unit, 23 of 66 shifts were staffed inadequately, six shifts of which were short one licensed staff. The adolescent unit had 29 of 66 shifts staffed inadequately, with seven of those shifts short one licensed staff. The senior care unit had 23 of 66 shifts staffed inadequately, with four of the shifts short one licensed staff.
The final violation on October 23rd dealt with inadequate registered nursing supervision of nursing care. The surveyor noted that the hospital failed to provide ongoing assessment, including patient care needs, patient health status, and patient response to resuscitation efforts, including documenting a cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) record.
On February 28, 2013, the hospital was cited by Medicare/Medicaid for a violation of performing a medical screening exam in the emergency room. A patient with potential suicidal thoughts was discharged from the hospital without being medically screened by physician.
On October 20, 2012, Baptist Beaumont Hospital received six violations for Medicare/Medicaid. First, the surveyor found that the nursing staff failed to follow physician orders and administration of medications to a patient. Second, the hospital was found to have violated patient rights by failing to ensure that patient care was provided under a physician order. Third, the hospital received a violation for failing to ensure that there was informed consent for a neuroleptic psychoactive medication. Third, the hospital was found to have violated patient rights by not providing care in a safe setting. Fourth, the surveyor cited the hospital for violation for providing inadequate nursing staffing to meet the needs of the patient. Fifth, the surveyor given notice of violation to the hospital because a patient medical record did not accurately reflect the care received by a patient.
In my experience in handling medical negligence lawsuits, I am concerned when I see a pattern of poor nursing staff levels the hospital. When nurses are unavailable to monitor and assess patients in a timely fashion, then physicians of critical information necessary to provide adequate medical care.
On May 24, 2011, Medicare/Medicaid cited the hospital five violations. The first was a violation of patient rights, in that the hospital failed to provide a patient’s legal guardian with written information related to the patient’s rights. The second violation was based on the hospital’s failure to include a patient guardian’s participation in the development and treatment of a care plan. The third and fourth violations found that the hospital failed to follow its own policy for reassessment of patient discharge plans and documenting each contact with patients. The last violation dealt with the failure of the hospital to document that a list of post-hospital care services was provided to the guardian of patient.
I have represented many families patients were discharged from the hospital too quickly. The discharge planning process, required by the standard of care, is designed to prevent that from happening. The best outcomes happen when there is no disruption of care when the patient is transferred from a hospital to another facility, or to home. This requires open communication between hospital and physician staff on the one hand, and patients and family members on the other—plus careful coordination with personnel at the new facility, if any.
We are here to help
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured at Baptist Beaumont Hospital, call Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas, at 281-580-8800, for a free consultation about your potential case. Attorney Robert Painter has handled a number of cases in Beaumont, including both Baptist and St. Elizabeth hospitals.
Robert Painter is an experienced medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who files medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of patients and their families. He is a frequent speaker and writer about medical malpractice topics. He is a member of the Texas Bar Journal Board of editors, and is a past editor-in-chief of The Houston Lawyer magazine.
Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.
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