According to the Washington Post, A Maryland hospital has been fined $30,000 for breaking state health regulations in regards to reporting serious injuries and patient deaths related to medical mistakes made by doctors, nurses, and hospital staff.
The Doctors Community Hospital, located in Prince George’s County, did not report at least seven patient injuries and one patient death to Maryland health officials. MD state officials have agreed to lower the fine from almost $100,000 after the Lanham, Maryland, hospital agreed to spend $65,000 on a program that would promote patient safety and accurate reporting. This deal was struck after state investigators found that the hospital had no plan in place to prevent reoccurring patient injuries and medical mistakes.
While not all medical mistakes can be prevented, explained the director of the state Office of Health Care Quality, the state does expect mistakes to be examined and prevented in the future. The Doctors Community Hospital did not have any system in place to catch and analyze these possible medical malpractice incidents.
The law that requires hospitals to report their serious errors has been on the Maryland books for the last five years. This is the first time a hospital has been punished for not following the law. The hospital staff is cooperating, and hoping to see improvement in the coming year, despite the sometimes overwhelming number of emergency room visits the medical center sees.
Among the incidents not reported was an assault on a patient, a heart failure patient who was not given his medication for over a week, a senior who was accidentally given a strong antibiotic, and a young woman who was not given fluids in an emergency room for 36 hours after reporting nausea and vomiting. The patient who died was involved in a fall from a hospital bed.