By Walter F. Roche Jr.
A major Philadelphia hospital has been cited for multiple deficiencies following a Medicare inspection of fire protection and other building safety requirements.
The four day January review at Pennsylvania Hospital found deficiencies in several buildings including missing fireproofing on structural beams, fire alarms that were partially inoperative and exposed electrical wires.
The 520-bed hospital, part of the University of Pennsylvania Health System, was inspected from Jan. 9 to Jan. 12 for compliance with provisions of the federal Life Safety Code.
Asked for comment, a Penn Medicine spokeswoman said," We worked to correct the items in the report as quickly as possible as well as put alternative protections in place to ensure the safety of all occupants."
She said the state findings "were part of a routine regulatory inspection," adding they were "very common in an active occupied hospital building. At Penn Medicine, patient safety is our number one priority."
Other findings include the failure to maintain the fire resistance rating of common walls and or on stair tower enclosures.
On the sixth floor of one building a door failed to positively latch. In several locations the state inspectors found unsealed penetrations. At another location they found a fire alarm system component with an inoperable component.
A review of fire sprinkler systems found that some gauges had not been serviced within the five year limit. Smoke compartments in some sleeping locations exceeded the maximum area.
According to the report, structural steel in the neurosurgery building lacked fire protection.
Also cited was the fact that the control panel for a fire alarm system in one building was located in a basement under lease by another party, raising concerns about accessibility in the event of an emergency.
In a parallel Medicare review of patient care, inspectors cited the hospital for failure to dispose of expired medications.