Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital Beaumont medical malpractice attorney/lawyer

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cited this hospital with 38 violations since September 20, 2012

 
December 25, 2017

Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital (Christus Southeast Texas—St. Elizabeth Hospital), located at 2830 Calder St., Beaumont, Texas 77702, is a 431-bed hospital owned by Christus Southeast Texas, based in Beaumont.

The hospital provides healthcare in a variety of areas, including emergency medicine (emergency room) and Level III trauma center, labor and deliver, birthing, neonatal care, spine and orthopedic surgery, general surgery, bariatric surgery, cardiology, oncology (cancer), and critical care. The Joint Commission has designated Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital as a primary stroke center and has approved it for heart failure certification. It advertises itself as the largest magnet hospital between Houston and Baton Rouge.

As a Houston, Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I have spent a significant amount of time in Beaumont, handling birth injury and other serious cases against this hospital. As part of my thorough investigation of Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital on numerous occasions, I have learned about quality of care concerns.

Quality of Care Concerns

The most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings reflect an overall score of 27.2, out of a total possible score of 100, for cancer service. Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital. Other healthcare rankings include: cardiology & heart surgery 27.2/100, diabetes & endocrinology 41/100, gastroenterology & GI surgery 52.1/100, geriatrics 40.5/100, nephrology 45.1/100, neurology & neurosurgery 33.7/100, orthopedics 29.1/100, pulmonology 46.1/100, and urology 25.2/100.

In addition, the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services conducts regular on-site visits and surveys of accredited hospitals. As a result of these surveys, Medicare and Medicaid have issued Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital with a whopping 38 violations since September 20, 2012.

The most recent three violations were issued on July 19, 2016, and deal with patient rights for restraint or seclusion. The standard of care requires a physician order for nursing staff to restrain or place a patient in seclusion. The surveyor found that the St. Elizabeth nursing staff placed and later removed two patients from seclusion without a doctor’s order. A third violation on this date found that the hospital did not ensure that medical supplies and equipment were maintained in a manner that preserved patient safety.

On September 17, 2015, Medicare and Medicaid cited Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital with an additional six violations. Two of the violations were issued because of sub-part nursing services because the hospital failed to ensure that there was an adequate number of registered nurses (RNs) in the emergency room. A third violation focused on a patient for whom the nursing staff failed to develop a nursing care plan.

As a Texas medical malpractice lawyer, I know that nursing care plans are an important part of the delivery of safe patient care. The Texas Board of Nursing and the standard of care require nursing care plans, which are individualized and goal-directed, and designed to keep patient care on track.

A fourth violation on September 17, 2015, concerned the hospitals failure to arrange a safe transfer for a hospitalized patient with a safe transfer. The fifth violation was for deficient provision of emergency services, because the emergency room (ER) nursing staff did not obtain a psychological assessment until eight hours after a patient arrived in the ER. The sixth and final violation on this date found that the hospital had repeated problems in completing method of transfer forms for patients who were received at the hospital from other facilities. In that this documentation is designed to make sure that there is continuity of care between hospitals, I am of the opinion that failing to complete these forms puts patients at an increased risk of falling through the cracks.

On July 8, 2015, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued two violations to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital. The first violation was a result of the hospital’s failure to respond to a patient grievance. As a former hospital administrator, I recognize that giving careful attention to patient complaints and grievances is an important part of a hospital’s continuous quality improvement process. It is concerning when a hospital ignores patient complaints or sweeps them under the rug. The second violation on this date was issued because the surveyor found that the hospital did not maintain the confidentiality of medical records in the surgery recovery room. The federal HIPAA law is designed to prevent improper medical records and information disclosure by hospitals and health care providers.

On April 2, 2015, Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital received another two violations from Medicare and Medicaid. Both violations arose from the hospital’s failure to provide appropriate medical treatment to an emergency room patient, as required by the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act. The surveyor found that the hospital failed to arrange an appropriate transfer for a patient with an unresolved psychiatric emergency medical condition.

On April 16, 2014, the hospital was cited with one violation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, related to inadequate supervision by a registered nurse of nursing care. The specific incident that led to the violation involved a patient who had skin breakdown, and the surveyor found that a registered nurse failed to ensure that the nursing staff notified a doctor of the patient’s compromised skin integrity. The surveyor noted that Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital’s nursing staff violated its own policies and procedures that require the nursing staff to use the Braden Scale tool for skin and wound assessments and treatments.

On May 22, 2013, Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital was cited with a violation for failing to ensure that patients at risk for poor outcomes at discharge receive proper discharge planning. In other words, the standard of care requires the medical and nursing staff of a hospital to provide individualized patient care, which includes planning ahead for patients’ wellbeing after they are discharged from the hospital. In my experience, failing to do so can result in a patient’s condition to decline quickly after discharge and require a quick return to the hospital.

Medicare and Medicaid cited Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital with seven violations on February 14, 2013. One violation addressed inadequate infection control practices, finding that the hospital did not maintain kitchen equipment in such a way that would avoid contamination. A second violation found that the hospital did not ensure the availability of safe linens for patient use. The third violation found that, for two of five patient charts reviewed, the nursing staff failed to administer medications in a timely fashion consistent with doctors’ orders. Four more violations found that the hospital failed to ensure that expired items, including unusable drugs, were removed from patient care areas.

On September 20, 2012, Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital received another five Medicare and Medicaid violations. Two violations were because the nursing staff failed to follow physician orders for increasing and decreasing the total parenteral nutrition (TPN) rates for 100% of the patients whose records the surveyor reviewed. Three more violations dealt with the failure to administer and document blood and blood products for 100% of the patients whose records were reviewed by the surveyor.

We are here to help

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured by care provided at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital, call the medical malpractice attorneys at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, at 281-580-8800, for a free consultation about your potential case. A number of our clients from the Beaumont/Golden Triangle area expressed their concerned about hometown lawyers being unwilling to tackle local hospitals. Our attorneys are not intimidates to investigate and prosecute lawsuits against any hospital in Texas.

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Robert Painter is an attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former U.S. Army officer, where he served as hospital administrator, and represents patients and family members in medical malpractice and wrongful death lawsuits against hospitals, doctors, surgeons, pharmacies, and other healthcare providers. He is a frequent speaker and writer on healthcare and medical negligence topics, and was previously an editor-in-chief of The Houston Lawyer magazine. He currently serves on the editorial board of the Texas Bar Journal.

Robert Painter

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

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