Edgerton Hospital given 22 citations after staff left ER

2012-12-07T06:00:00Z 2012-12-07T17:37:49Z Edgerton Hospital given 22 citations after staff left ERDAVID WAHLBERG | Wisconsin State Journal | dwahlberg@madison.com | 608-252-6125 madison.com

Edgerton Hospital staff, in responding to a patient's and a nurse's cardiac arrests on the same morning, left two other patients alone in the emergency room, according to an inspection report.

The hospital was given 22 state and federal citations for problems related to the Aug. 9 events, including not having enough staff.

Five of the federal citations were serious enough to warrant a determination of "immediate jeopardy," the most serious category of violation.

The patient with cardiac arrest died the same day, though it's not clear why; the ER patients are not known to have been harmed. The report doesn't say what happened to the nurse, and state and hospital officials wouldn't tell the State Journal, citing privacy laws.

The state inspection, conducted from Sept. 26 to Oct. 2, was prompted by an anonymous complaint. The resulting citations are for problems such as inadequate staffing, lack of CPR training and failure to document how the hospital contacts on-call staff or EMS services for assistance.

"There is no hospital record indicating phone calls were made to extra staff to report in to help with the codes," according to the Oct. 2 report from the state Department of Health Services.

Yet the hospital did contact additional staff and several came in, Caryn Oleston, the hospital's vice president for patient care, told the State Journal.

An off-duty employee who is also a family member of one of the ER patients remained in the ER, so the patients really weren't alone, Oleston said. Those patients were not harmed, and the first patient's death was not related to the staff's response, she said.

"It's all about triage," Oleston said. "You send your resources to the patients who need them the very most."

The hospital has increased staffing, trained more people in CPR and expanded its on-call system, she said.

The state accepted the hospital's plan of correction after a follow-up visit Nov. 19, health department spokeswoman Claire Smith said. Two additional citations were issued, however, for some inadequate medical records. No fines were imposed.

According to the inspection report:

The first patient, who developed pneumonia while in the hospital, went into cardiac and respiratory arrest about 3:30 a.m.

Those responding included the nurse, who collapsed about 15 minutes later while walking around the foot of the patient's bed.

A licensed practical nurse in the ER had already left to help the patient. After the nurse collapsed, a registered nurse in the ER left to help her, leaving the ER patients without any hospital personnel.

The ER patients included one with a head injury and one with a suspected urine infection.

The patient who had suffered the cardiac and respiratory arrest died shortly afterward.

Many of the 10 state violations and 12 federal violations are for the same things.

An annual average of three immediate jeopardy determinations have been issued for all Wisconsin hospitals combined the past five years, Smith said. Nine have been issued so far this year.

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(8) Comments

  1. Rollandhand
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    Rollandhand - December 08, 2012 7:26 am
    Wait a minute here. Let us look at what occurred. 3:30 am a patient goes in to cardiac arrest. At the same time two patients are in ER. One patient has a suspected urinary infection while the other has an unspecified head injury. An off duty employee (one who might have been called in for staffing needs) is in ER with a family member and other staff have been called. A second heart attack occurs while staff treats the first heart attack. Holy Granola boys and girls! Anyone who has witnessed or suffered a heart attack knows how many people work as a team to save the patient. Heart attacks require IMMEDIATE attention. It is 3:30 am. The article makes it sound like the hospital left people hanging. That is not the case. I have been to this ER. Their hearts, their priorities, and their staff are all in the right place. I'll go back when I need them. They've saved my life. Until more medical schools are created in this country, we need good Physicians Assistants. Until medicine becomes a true service business and not an insurance cash cow, the almighty accountants will run the show. In my opinion this is not a black mark on the Edgerton ER. It just shows us that they are trying to save lives.
  2. macD
    Report Abuse
    macD - December 07, 2012 10:48 am
    My last visit to the Edgerton ER, sounded almost identical to this, In-depth report, from Madison.com on the, "Short Staffing" issues at the Edgerton Hospital ER. I hook my wife into the ER because her heart was making unusual palpitations. I walked up to the desk, & spoke to the Unit Clerk (I assumed), because there was no id on her. I specifically requested, "That I wanted a M.D. to check my wife's heart out?" I knew that, Physician Assistants (PA's) were working in ER's at some hospitals, & I didn't want a PA (I've had my own experiences with them). The Unit Clerk assured me that "a Medical Doctor would be examining her". Then I hear someone with a name tag that, described her as a R.N. say to the desk lady, "just call him, they won';t know the difference" lol.. Next thing I knew, standing in the room was a, long haired, unshaven male, whose name tag was hidden by his hair. I specifically asked him, "Are you a M.D.", & he answered me with, "Yes". So I sat back, & let him start with his ordering tests. "CBC, Chem Panel, EKG., As he stood in the room as they were taking blood for the labs, I got a quick view of his name tag because his hair moved.. He was a Physician's Assistant. I've been around medicine since I was 11 years old. I watched as P.A.'s were created So if you take someone there that is very ill, make sure its, NOT a P.A. thats doing your loved ones, or your, workup. I'm not saying PA's don't have their place, or uses, but I am saying.. in a life or death situation, I'd make sure its a M.D.. Its about Saving money. They don't have to pay PA's what a MD would be paid.
  3. sweeperq
    Report Abuse
    sweeperq - December 07, 2012 8:50 am
    "It's all about triage," Oleston said. "You send your resources to the patients who need them the very most."

    Sorry, but when people are paying as much as they are for health care, triage shouldn't be necessary.
  4. number6
    Report Abuse
    number6 - December 07, 2012 8:39 am
    Look at the demographic trends and our country's non-universal approach to 'healthcare' and tighten your seatbelt. We're in for an even wilder ride, with many articles such as this one, and WAY worse, to come.
  5. TheBorg
    Report Abuse
    TheBorg - December 07, 2012 7:47 am
    Walker's better solution is don't have anyone who is not rich take up a bed in a hospital. Middle, working class and the poor stay home, fewer beds needed, fewer staff needed, the top 1% make bigger profits.
  6. River
    Report Abuse
    River - December 06, 2012 9:57 pm
    Settle down everyone. Obamacare would solve this but Walker has an even better solution than Obamacare. We're just waiting to hear it.
  7. mouser
    Report Abuse
    mouser - December 06, 2012 9:09 pm
    Again this is a fine example of cutting corners, cutting back where it shouldn't be. ER's are there for emergencies. It's quite obvious in this situation, that this hospital ER is not staffed well enough for these type of true emergencies. I am trained as a nurse, and there's one thing you have to remember you never know what will come your way next so be prepared for anything. I've been there, and been known to bark orders at others to get things under control during those trying times. I've also been known to apologize to my staff afterwards and everybody realizes it's the situation, it's all about the patient. That's where we are going wrong in healthcare -letting the all mighty buck control it when really it's all about the patient!
  8. nufsenuf
    Report Abuse
    nufsenuf - December 06, 2012 7:55 pm
    The last paragraph states " An annual average of three immediate jeopardy determinations have been issued for all Wisconsin hospitals combined the past five years,, Smith said. Nine have been issued so far this year."

    Nine instances of "immediate jeopardy" situations so far this year is a at least a 300% increase for the year. Does anyone elese find this disturbing and unacceptable? I think the reporter missed the real story!
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