State Issues Reprimands, Probation For Nurses

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined four nurses for drug use and other violations. The board placed the LPN license of Ashley E. Lambert of Thompson on probation for four years and ordered her to attend therapy, undergo random drug tests and attend a support group eight to 10 times a month, according to her signed consent order. According to documents, Lambert was found to have abused or used to excess heroin, cocaine, marijuana and Trazadone from 1998 until April 2019. The board also reprimanded the registered nurse (RN) license of Elaine B. Simms-Walton of Enfield, placed her license on probation for six months, and ordered her to take coursework in advanced directives and critical thinking. According to her signed consent order, Simms-Walton was working as a nurse supervisor with a resident who had a physician’s order that requested life-sustaining treatment, including CPR, in an emergency.

Nursing Homes Fined For Privacy Violation, Verbal Abuse And Injuries

Six nursing homes have been fined by the state for violating a resident’s privacy, verbally abusing a resident and for violations that resulted in residents’ injuries. Whitney Center in Hamden was fined $6,120 after a nurse aide used her personal cellphone to take a picture of a resident being transferred to a shower chair with a Hoyer lift on June 18, 2019, according to a citation issued by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The resident and nurse aide disagreed on what happened, according to DPH.  The aide said the resident wanted the photo taken, but the resident said that was not the case. The aide deleted the photo from the cellphone.

Hospital Errors Rose 7% In 2018

The number of “adverse events” occurring at Connecticut hospitals rose 7% in 2018, compared with the previous year, with a growing number of patients suffering serious injury or death associated with falls, according to a new state report. Overall, the total number adverse events, or medical errors, reported by hospitals rose to 376, from 351 in 2017, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH). Of the 29 categories tracked, tallies rose in 12, declined in seven and remained flat in 10. “I’m very discouraged by the report,” said Lisa Freeman, executive director of the Connecticut Center for Patient Safety. “Some of these numbers, they give me chills, they’re so frightening.

Inspection Reports: Hospitals Cited For Testing Error That Resulted In Unnecessary Surgery, Patient Deaths, Failure To Investigate Complaint Of Patient Abuse

A hysterectomy performed on a patient based on a faulty test result, and the death of two patients after failing to receive necessary monitoring or medication, failure to immediately investigate a complaint of patient abuse by a doctor, were among the incidents cited in the latest round of hospital inspection reports conducted by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The 24 new reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine Section, cover state inspections that took place at hospitals last year and earlier this year. At Bridgeport Hospital, a patient underwent a total hysterectomy after her biopsy results were contaminated by another patient’s. The patient had a hysteroscopy procedure on Dec. 3, 2018, during which a biopsy was taken.

Snapchat Post, A Fall And A Death Lead To Nursing Homes’ Fines

Three nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that include posting a video on social media of a resident in a wheelchair asking for a cheese sandwich. Montowese Health and Rehabilitation Center in North Haven was fined $1,320 after a nurse aide posted the video of the resident on Snapchat, DPH said. On Aug. 29, 2019, a family member of the resident called the facility to complain about the video. In the video, the resident was seated in a wheelchair, wearing a white helmet and repeatedly asking for a grilled cheese sandwich.

State Board Revokes 3 Nurses’ Licenses; Disciplines 4 Others

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week revoked the licenses of three nurses and disciplined four other nurses, mostly for drug or alcohol abuse. The licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Dionne Brown of Bristol was revoked after she was found to have abused or utilized to excess oxycodone and Percocet in 2015 and 2016 while working at Village Green of Bristol Rehabilitation & Health Center; requested and was granted continuances of two hearings on her license; and then failed to attend a scheduled hearing in March 2019. The board also revoked the LPN license of Christine DeFusco of Rocky Hill after she failed to comply with the terms of her four-year probation that began Jan. 1, 2019, for using alcohol to excess; and for failing to attend a hearing after she was notified of her non-compliance with the terms of her probation, which included submitting to random drug tests. The LPN license of Katie Ann Martins of Naugutuck was revoked by the board after it found her abuse of alcohol, Klonopin and cocaine affected her ability to practice as a nurse.

Med Board Fines Two Doctors A Total Of $22,500

The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday disciplined two physicians with fines of $10,000 or more, including a Stamford doctor for a lack of documentation while prescribing to employees. The board also agreed to withdraw charges against two other physicians who either voluntarily relinquished their medical license or agreed to allow their license to lapse. Dr. Laurence Kirwan of Stamford, was fined $12,500 for a lack of adequate documentation while prescribing medication to three of his employees who were also patients from 2009 to 2017, according to a consent order. It was Kirwan’s second reprimand and fine before the board, according to state records. In 2017, he was fined $2,500 for failing to maintain adequate treatment records and documentation for a surgical patient from March to July 2014.

Nursing Homes Fined For Violations That Put Residents At Risk, Caused Harm

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) has fined four nursing homes for violations that resulted in resident harm. Village Crest Center for Health and Rehabilitation in New Milford was fined $10,000 for two violations. On June 14, 2019, two residents were found by a dietary aide walking outside near the facility.  One of the two residents had fallen and was an elopement risk, but wasn’t identified as one in documentation, DPH said. As the residents were leaving the facility, a receptionist who saw them thought that one of the people in the foyer was a guest, signing the resident out, according to the DPH.

State Suspends Two Nursing Licenses, Disciplines Four Others

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week suspended the licenses of two licensed practical nurses (LPN) and disciplined four other nurses. The LPN license of Melissa A. Eccles of Norwich was suspended last Wednesday pending a hearing for failing to respond to a court-ordered substance abuse evaluation. Eccles was initially ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) in June 2018. When she failed to do so, the case went to court, and in July 2019 she was ordered to undergo the evaluation. In suspending her license prior to a hearing on her case, the state nursing board found that her continued practice as a nurse represents a “clear and immediate danger” to the public health and safety.

26 Hospitals Penalized By Medicare For High Readmission Rates

Most Connecticut hospitals will lose a percentage of their Medicare reimbursement payments over the next year as penalties for having high rates of readmitted patients, according to new data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Statewide, 26 of the 29 hospitals evaluated – 90 percent – will have their reimbursements reduced, by varying amounts, in the 2020 fiscal year that began Oct. 1, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis of data from CMS.

CMS began in the 2013 fiscal year to penalize hospitals that have high rates of patients who are readmitted within one month of being discharged. The penalties were enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act, intended to encourage better health care delivery. Nationwide, 2,583 hospitals will be penalized this year, according to Kaiser Health News.