Safety

Hospital hopes to avoid CMS action following fatal surgical fire

Hospital Safety Insider, October 7, 2009

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An Illinois hospital’s alleged lapses when it comes to surgical fire prevention led to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) threatening to rescind the facility’s participation in the Medicare program, reported the Marion (IL) Daily Republican last week.
 
However, Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion is confident that improvements to its processes will ward off CMS’ potential penalty, according to information the hospital provided to the Daily Republican. Those corrective actions include:
  • Holding mandatory training for all hospital employees and physicians who work in the surgery department or in areas that support surgical services
  • Hiring the ECRI Institute—a respected healthcare research firm in Plymouth Meeting, PA—to review hospital policies on surgical fire prevention
On September 2, a flash fire burned a patient undergoing surgery at Heartland Regional. That patient later died of her injuries. CMS inspected the hospital September 17.



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