Wasn't it Red saying systemic
The Army ousted the commander of one of its busiest hospitals and suspended three top deputies on Tuesday after two patients in their 20s unexpectedly died in the past 10 days, shortly after they sought treatment at the hospital’s emergency room.
The shake-up at the hospital, Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, N.C., came at a moment of heightened sensitivity about health care in the military community, stirred by the furor over treatment delays in the separate medical system serving the nation’s veterans. Late Tuesday, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered a broad review to ensure that military patients — many of them active-duty service members and their families — are not facing similar problems.
“He wants to make sure that to the degree that we have any similar issues that we are aggressively going after them,” said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.
Defense officials said the review, which will cover access to health care, patient safety and quality of care, had been decided upon last week and was unrelated to the situation at Womack.
The changes at Womack, they said, were due both to the patient deaths and to problems with surgical-infection control identified in March by the Joint Commission, an independent body that accredits hospitals. In a statement, the Army said that “senior Army medical leaders have lost trust and confidence” in Womack’s commander, Col. Steven J. Brewster, and had replaced him with Col. Ronald T. Stephens, another doctor.
New acting deputies were also named to head clinical services, nursing and administration while investigations into the deaths continue.
Womack is one of 41 domestic inpatient hospitals run by the Defense Department, serving active-duty service members and their families, as well as long-serving retirees and their families. The separate system run by the Department of Veterans Affairs principally cares for those who left the military after less than 20 years. Federal investigators are examining allegations that records were altered at more than two dozen veterans hospitals to disguise a backlog of patients awaiting treatment.
The first of the two recent fatalities at Womack involved Racheal Marie Rice, a 29-year-old mother of three who underwent a routine tubal ligation on May 16 and died the next morning, according to hospital staff members. The procedure is considered low risk for complications and death. Within three hours of surgery, Mrs. Rice, the wife of an active-duty soldier, returned to the emergency room, feeling ill.
Patients who return that soon after surgery are supposed to be placed on a triage list and seen quickly. But Mrs. Rice waited for about two hours without seeing a doctor, then left to breast-feed her baby, who is about 6 months old, according to people familiar with the case. By the next morning, she was close to death. An ambulance took her from her home back to Womack, where she died.
In an email, her father, Rick VanDenBerge, said, “Our daughter, while here on earth, touched a lot of lives.”
The second patient, a 24-old-year-old active-duty service member who could not be identified, visited the emergency room last weekend and received a diagnosis of tachycardia, a potentially dangerous condition involving an elevated heart rate, according to two people familiar with the case. He had recently been treated in Womack’s surgery unit for abscesses, but it was unclear whether that was part of the reason for his emergency room visit.
He was given medication, instructed to follow up with his doctor and released, according to one staff member. Why and where he died remained unclear on Tuesday.
Pentagon data shows that Womack, which performs more than 14,000 inpatient and outpatient surgical procedures a year, had a higher-than-expected rate of surgical complications from January 2010 to July 2013, the latest data available. In March, the hospital suspended all elective surgery for two days after inspectors from the Joint Commission found fault with surgical infection control procedures.
The hospital has remained fully accredited.
Less than three weeks ago, the Army’s surgeon general, Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho, met with hospital staff members to discuss concerns, including worries over the inspection results. Hospital workers have also privately complained that the patient population has grown while staff has shrunk. One worker said General Horoho had been asked: “Where do you draw the line between quality of care and your budget?”
According to one person who was there, the general replied that the hospital could operate more efficiently without sacrificing the quality of care.
Media finally picks up
Pat Buchanan was right...the Shoddy VA Health system, and deaths of American Patriots, is one that resonates.
Re: Media finally picks up
Those jokers understand it a lot better than they let on, and a significant number of voters, not the die hard liberals of course , are certainly going to think long and hard about this one.
Re: Media finally picks up
So, Comrade, are you smelling the coffee, too, and realizing that just maybe, its NOT a money problem at the VA?
More green shoots among the chaff.....a day or so ago, Nappy posted that the VA should not be the medical provider for most veterans, that, get this...the PRIVATE sector should be doing it.
Amazing stuff....who says that puppies do not grow up eventually and open their eyes????