Houston Northwest Medical Center medical malpractice lawyer/attorney

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cited this HCA-owned hospital with two violations since 2015

 
December 22, 2017

Houston Northwest Medical Center, located at 710 Cypress Creek Parkway, Houston, Texas 77090, has been in operation since 1973. For many years, it was owned by a Texas company called Houston Northwest Operating Company, LLC, based in Dallas.

The hospital was later acquired by the Tenet Healthcare hospital chain. In May 2017, the hospital was purchased by mega-chain HCA Holdings, Inc., which is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Houston Northwest Medical Center now describes itself as an HCA affiliated hospital that is partially physician-owned. It is a 430-bed facility with around 600 physicians on its medical staff, and another 1,200+ employees providing healthcare services.

The hospital offers a variety of services including weight loss/bariatric surgery, a breast center, cardiovascular services, open-heart surgery, diagnostic imaging, labor and delivery, maternity services, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), orthopedic surgery, and an emergency room. It is a Level IV Accredited Chest Pain Center, but does not currently hold any certification as a stroke center.

Quality of care concerns

As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice attorney, I have handled a number of cases involving care provided at Houston Northwest Medical Center. This has given me the occasion to become familiar with the quality of care and concerns expressed by patients and clients.

The most recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report reflect the following overall scores for Houston Northwest Medical Center:  diabetes and endocrinology 42.5/100 (42.5 out of a total possible score of 100); gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery 43.2/100; geriatrics 40/100; nephrology (kidneys) 38.4/100; neurology and neurosurgery 35/100; orthopedics 24.7/100; pulmonology (lungs) 50.4/100; and urology 47.8/100.

In addition, the most recent rankings of U.S. News & World Report reflect that Houston Northwest Medical Center was rated below average in aortic valve surgery, heart bypass surgery, hip replacement, and knee replacement. The hospital rated average in colon cancer surgery and lung cancer surgery. It’s two high performing ratings were for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and heart failure.

Any time Painter Law Firm accept representation in a potential medical negligence case, we research current lawsuits and investigations of the hospital at issue. Unfortunately, the State of Texas is rather lax when it comes to regulating hospitals. In my opinion, this is because powerful hospital and physician lobbyists pressure legislators and other government officials to stay out of their business.

On the federal government side, though, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conduct a robust program of on-site inspections and surveys of accredited hospitals. Since 2015, Houston Northwest Medical Center has received two citations from Medicare and Medicaid for quality of care issues.

On July 28, 2017, the hospital received one violation for failing to follow its own policy, which requires providing a written response to a patient expressing dissatisfaction with the care and services received during a hospital admission.

As a former hospital administrator, I know that continuous quality improvement is an important part of a hospital’s overall effort to provide safe, quality patient care. Hospitals are busy places with many healthcare providers providing services. Administrators cannot be everywhere, so it is possible that some care issues go unnoticed. This is why patient grievances and complaints provide an opportunity for hospital leadership to get into the trenches and improve patient safety. When hospital administrators ignore patient concerns, I am of the opinion that it creates an impression among healthcare providers that there is a lack of accountability, therefore, causing needless endangerment to patient safety.

On September 10, 2015, Medicare and Medicaid issued a violation to Houston Northwest Medical Center concerning its medical record services. The surveyor found an instance where there was an order for “stat” blood collection that was mishandled.

A doctor’s “routine” order for lab work or diagnostic radiology means that the nursing and technical staffs can get the study done in the normal course of business. A “stat” order, on the other hand, means to do it as soon as possible. For stat orders, a physician is normally waiting for the results in order to make treatment decisions, and any delay may compromise the safety and well-being of the patient.

The Medicare and Medicaid surveyor found that the stat blood collection was done, but the employee who obtained the blood sample did not note the specimen collected and date and time of the collection, or any specifics about how and where the specimen was obtained. In order to have accurate lab results, lab personnel must have this critical information.

We are here to help

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of medical malpractice at Houston Northwest Medical Center, or any other Texas hospital, call the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, at 281-580-8800, for free consultation about your potential case.

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Robert Painter is an attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who files medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of patients and family members against hospitals, doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologist, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers. He frequently writes and speaks about healthcare and medical negligence topics, was a former editor-in-chief of The Houston Lawyer magazine and is a current editorial board member of the Texas Bar Journal.

Robert Painter

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

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