Painter Law Firm is based in Houston, Texas, and handles medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the Houston area and the State of Texas, including Corpus Christi.
Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi—Shoreline, located at 600 Elizabeth Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78404, is part of the large nonprofit Christus hospital chain. This hospital advertises itself as the largest and foremost acute-care Medical Center in South Texas. It offers surgical services including back, spine, orthopedic, bone, joint, neurosurgery, robotic, cardiac/heart, colorectal, gynecological, thoracic, and urological. The hospital has an emergency room, cancer center, primary stroke center, and chest pain center, as well as diagnostic imaging services including MRI, CT, and other types of scans.
Quality of care concerns
The federal government, through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, sends surveyors to conduct on-site inspections and records reviews of accredited hospitals. These efforts are aimed at targeting and correcting quality of care concerns.
Since April 2012, Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi—Shoreline has received 12 violations from Medicare/Medicaid during these on-site surveys.
On November 20, 2015, the hospital received one violation for quality of care concern in emergency services. This violation arose from a patient who was seen in the emergency room with the chief complaint of abdominal pain (7 out of a scale of 10) and nausea. The emergency room staff did not do a thorough hands-on assessment, including an evaluation of the patient’s abdomen. Moreover, the patient was asked to sit in the emergency department waiting room for seven hours. Upon re-assessment, the pain level was eight out of 10, but there was no re-assessment of pain or nausea from the time of the initial assessment, until the patient was seen by a physician after the lengthy delay.
On February 5, 2014, Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi—Shoreline received three violations. The first dealt with mishandling of a biological, Apligraf, by the hospital’s pharmaceutical services. Apligraf is used in wound care, but has the potential to cause harm to patients, so it must be handled in a way that allows tracking the flow of the medication from entry into the hospital, dispensing, and disposal of left overs. The additional two violations on this date dealt with the same issue, including the hospital’s sub- standard performance in dealing with the delivery of drugs and pharmacy administration.
On June 1, 2012, Medicare/Medicaid cited the hospital with four violations. The first violation dealt with not protecting patient rights to receive care in a safe setting, arising from a dietitian consult that was done following a physician order. The dietitian found that the patient needed a specific diet, as well as a speech language evaluation to assess swallowing ability, but the nursing staff did not follow-through with the dietitian’s recommendations. The additional three violations on the state with a result of the same situation. The hospital failed to ensure a proper nursing care plan, and that it was not updated or kept current after the evaluation by the dietitian. The surveyor found that the hospital did not have an organized dietary service that communicated adequately with the hospital medical staff for recommendations on dietetic policies effecting patient treatment. And the medical and nursing staff failed to implement a therapeutic diet recommended on two separate evaluations, within three days, for a patient.
From my experience both as a hospital administrator and as a medical malpractice attorney, I know that a proper diet can be exceptionally important to post-surgical patients, as well as those in need of wound healing, among many other types of patients. Without a proper hospital diet to address those nutritional needs, patients quite often take dramatic, unneeded turns for the worse.
One April 5, 2012, Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi—Shoreline received an additional four violations from the Medicare/Medicaid surveyor. The first found that the hospital failed to provide a safe setting for patient care. Specifically, the hospital staff did not provide a complete assessment for a patient, as required by the standard of care. Both initial assessments and follow-up assessments are important to establish a baseline and to understand whether the patient is improving under treatment. The hospital received an additional violation for not having an adequate nursing care plan, including discharge planning, to guide patient care.
The Medicare/Medicaid surveyor also issued a violation because the hospital was not measuring or tracking quality indicators as required by standards of practice. As a former hospital administrator, I know that it is important role of hospital leadership to track the quality of care, so interventions and changes can be made to improve and ensure patient safety. Based on the same facts, the hospital received an additional violation for not meeting patient safety standards.
We are here to help
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured as a result of poor health care at Christus Spohn Hospital Corpus Christi—Shoreline, call the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at Painter Law Firm, in Houston, Texas, at 281-580-8800, for a free consultation about your potential case. We handle medical negligence and wrongful death cases both in the Houston area, as well as throughout the State of Texas.
Robert Painter is an attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He represents patients and family members in medical malpractice lawsuits against hospitals, doctors, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare providers. In 2017, H Texas magazine named him among Houston’s top lawyers. In 2017, the Better Business Bureau honored Painter Law Firm with its Award of Distinction.