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April 25, 2000

Agreement Reached to keep Tacoma Hospital Open

Charges have not been dismissed, however

Olympia, WA (SafetyAlerts) - An agreement reached today between the state Department of Health and Puget Sound Hospital will allow the hospital to stay open and immediately resume admitting patients.

An administrative law judge rescinded the "Summary Suspension" order this morning after the Department and Puget Sound Hospital reached an agreement on immediate and long term remedies dealing with hospital sanitation and security issues.

"We are convinced that our immediate concerns have been successfully addressed by Puget Sound Hospital," according to Gary Bennett, director of Facilities and Services Licensing for the Department of Health. "The hospital has been aggressive in coming up with solutions and we are confident that the public can be assured that they will receive safe, high quality care at this facility."

The hospital will take several steps to deal with sanitation and security problems. It has discarded all of the supplies in the central supply room where sanitation issues existed. The supply room has been moved to another floor in the hospital and all new supplies are being purchased. An outside pest control agency will perform daily pest inspections for the next month and the hospital will also implement a long-term pest control program.

To tighten security at the facility, the Puget Sound Hospital will install a surveillance camera, hire more security guards, add new locks and change existing locks in the operating room area, purchase lockable anesthetic carts, and modify its key control processes. The hospital has also changed policies with respect to escorting patients in certain areas of the facility.

Department investigators inspected the hospital yesterday to verify that the immediate remedies had been put in place and that long-term solutions are moving forward. The hospital has agreed to address system concerns by bringing in outside consultants in the areas of quality improvement, infection control, and medication management.

The agreement does not rescind the statement of charges that was the basis for the order. That remains in place for the time being. The hospital will need to implement the consultants’ recommendations before the Department of Health will consider a final agreement to resolve the charges.

Selected Recent Recalls

Health Professional:

Did you know?
During 2000 there were over
1050 products recalled in the United
States for safety reasons!

How many did you hear about?

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