The hospital that has been long-known as Houston Northwest Medical Center recently changed its name to HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest. This 423-bed short-term acute care hospital is now part of the HCA mega-chain of hospitals, which is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest is located in the Red Oak area of FM 1960 West, at 710 Cypress Creek Parkway, Houston, TX 77090.
Healthcare services at HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest
This hospital offers healthcare services in a number of specialties, including breast health, cardiology, diagnostic radiology (MRI scans, CT scans, etc.), an emergency room (ER), ear nose and throat (ENT), gastroenterology (GI), an intensive care unit (ICU), neurology, orthopedics, physical therapy and rehabilitation, pulmonary care, sleep disorders, surgery (including cardiovascular, colorectal, gastrointestinal, gynecologic, obstetric, ophthalmologic, orthopedic, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, and weight loss/bariatric), urgent care, urology, and women’s care.
Quality of care concerns
HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest was most recently cited with a violation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services on July 28, 2017, for failing to follow its own grievance policy. As a former hospital administrator, I recognize that patient and family grievances and concerns are an important way that hospital leaders can find out what’s really going on in the front lines.
When complaints and grievances are swept under the rug, instead of investigated and reported on, it can be a sign of poor supervision and leadership at a hospital.
The standard of care and hospital policies require hospital administrators and leaders to take grievances and complaints seriously, including investigating them and getting back to the complaining party. Failure to do so can cause significant problems for hospitals. First, it may convey an arrogant attitude that a hospital is not concerned about patient and family concerns. Second, it deprives the hospital of the opportunity to investigate root causes and learn how to not repeat mistakes that compromise patient safety.
The facts of the complaint that led to this hospital’s most recent Medicare violation are pretty unusual. According to the complaint, the patient was seen in the HCA Houston Healthcare Northwest emergency room and was assigned to a male nurse. The patient asked the nurse to leave her room because she was uncomfortable with males. The male nurse refused to leave and told the patient to get out of her bed because it was needed for another patient.
The patient grievance alleged that a security officer told the patient to “get out of the bed or he would drag her out, hogtie her, and drag her to jail.” According to the patient, she was discharged from the emergency room while still sedated and still having her intravenous (IV) catheter in place.
As it turns out, this hospital is located a few miles from our office. As crazy as it sounds, I vividly remember a patient walking into Painter Law Firm’s office, back in 2006 or 2007, with a similar story and an IV catheter still attached to his arm. I called the hospital risk manager and let her know what was going on.
I also recently had a case at a different hospital where an ER physician got pretty aggressive with the patient and made an insensitive comment that the patient didn’t need to be in the ER. He added that patients with real problems needed that bed in the ER. That doctor ordered the patient discharged from the hospital. Within a few hours, the patient had a massive stroke that changed his life forever.
Other new Houston-area HCA hospitals
According to the Houston Business Journal, the local HCA division, HCA Gulf Coast, became the largest Houston-area health care system in September 2017. At that point, in addition to Houston Northwest Medical Center, it also purchased Cypress Fairbanks Medical Center (181 beds), Park Plaza Hospital (444 beds), and Tomball Regional Medical Center (350 beds). Those acquisitions gave HCA Gulf Coast a whopping 4,110 local licensed beds.
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Robert Painter is a medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits against hospitals, physicians, surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare providers. A member of the board of directors of the Houston Bar Association, he was honored, in 2018, by H Texas as one of Houston’s top lawyers. Also, in 2018, the Better Business Bureau recognized Painter Law Firm PLLC with its Award of Distinction.