Security lapses risk patient safety, federal funds at hospital

Security problems that jeopardize patient safety could cost Ohio's Adena Medical Center millions of dollars in federal Medicare funding, the Lancaster Eagle Gazette reported.

In addition to unguarded drugs and syringes, a review from the Ohio Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services discovered that a discharged patient roamed unsupervised throughout the hospital, took a nurse's staff badge and accessed a secured unit and stole medications, reported 10TV.

In response, CMS threatened to end payments for patients admitted on or after April 27 and offered a list of security changes needed to preserve Medicare payments, noted the Gazette.

Adena Medical Center said it anticipated the agency's corrective measures and started making security improvements in late March, such as requiring visitors to sign in and wear color-coded badges.

"We will be requesting another visit by ODH at the end of this week or the early part of next week to show our progress," Adena physician Anthony Freeman told 10TV.

This latest warning from CMS comes on the heels of a recent investigation into patient safety violations at Pennsylvania's' Saint Catherine Medical Center, which identified serious deficiencies, including a lack of surgical gloves, syringes, needles and medicated soap and faulty X-ray equipment. On Monday, owner Saint Catherine's Hospital of Pennsylvania filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

To learn more:
- read the Lancaster Eagle Gazette article
- here's the 10TV article