Hospital partially shut down after lab suspension

Bankrupt Peninsula Hospital in Queens, N.Y., on Friday shut down much of the 173-bed facility after state health officials ordered it to close its lab, citing patient safety deficiencies. Peninsula Hospital transferred and discharged all of its inpatients and cancelled all surgeries and procedures due to a 30-day suspension of the hospital's lab permit, Crain's New York reported.

The health department listed 59 problems in the lab, many of which revolved around the blood bank. For example, an individual who received only two days of training worked alone in the blood bank, Queens Chronicle reported. Other problems included storing blood platelets at inappropriate temperatures and failing to maintain, calibrate and monitor crucial instruments, WNYC reported. State inspectors also found three units of expired plasma in its blood-bank freezer, according to Crain's New York.

"We knew we had issues in the lab. I did not necessarily have an appreciation for the severity of the issues," Revival and Peninsula CEO Todd Miller said.

Although the hospital can't admit patients, Miller maintained, "We're not closed." Non-clinical services, such as radiology, for example, are operational.

The lab closing might not bode well for the hospital.

This is the second time that state officials have ordered Peninsula to halt admissions this year, according to the Queens Chronicle article. When Peninsula's parent company, MediSys, ended its affiliation, the state in August 2011 ordered the hospital not to take any new patients until it implemented an operational plan.

The health department could reverse the order if Peninsula fixes the violations. Miller said he expects to submit a correction plan this week, according to Crain's.

"We're taking this very seriously and working as hard as we can to remedy the situation," hospital spokeswoman Liz Sulik told WNYC.

For more information:
- read the WNYC article
- here's the Crain's New York article
- check out Queens Chronicle article

Related Articles:
Hospitals closings draw congressional fire
Dirty surgical tools a dangerous, growing problem
Hospital medical mistakes up, patient harm down