Tuesday, June 26, 2018
Two More State Hospitals Cited
By Walter F. Roche Jr.
Two additional state run mental hospitals have been cited by Pennsylvania health regulators in recent inspections for violations of state and federal standards, including failure to properly sterilize meters used on diabetes patients.
The citations were issued in April and May to the Danville and Warren State Hospitals.
The state Health Department surveyors inspected the facilities to certify their continued inclusion in the federally funded Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The two reports are in addition to a 67-page report recently issued on the Norristown State Hospital. That highly critical report cited the Montgomery County facility for failing to eliminate ligature and other risks for patients known to be at risk for suicide.
The same failure was cited in the report on the Danville State Hospital, located in Montour County.
The hospital failed to ensure ligature risks were eliminated, the report states. Cited were electrical cords, door handles and television wires found by inspectors in patient care areas.
In another finding the health department said hospital administrators had failed to set specific performance standards for a variety of services provided by outside contractors.Those included dental, laundry and respiratory services.
Inspectors found the same deficiency in Norristown.
Other findings in Danville include failure to ensure a sanitary environment in food preparation areas where a pail of soapy water was observed on the same cart as food. Light fixtures in that same area "had a heavy accumulation" of grease and dust.
The hospital responded with a corrective action plan promising improvements in the cited areas including the dietary department.
At the Warren State Hospital in the northwest corner of the state, surveyors found the same deficiency regarding the establishment of performance standards for outside contractors.
They also found staffers were not following the recommended sterilization standards for glucometers used to check blood sugar levels. Instead of sterilizing after every use, a staffer told surveyors they only sterilized the meters at the end of the day.
Documentation for the sterilization was missing for 16 of 30 days reviewed, according to the report.
Like their Danville counterparts, officials from Warren filed a plan of correction in which they promised to correct all the deficiencies.
Officials of the Office of Human Services, which oversees the hospitals, did not respond to requests for comment.
The three remaining state mental hospitals have not been inspected in over a year.