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State cites Edgerton Hospital for staffing violations

Published On: Dec 05 2012 09:19:53 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 05 2012 09:29:10 PM CST

EDGERTON, Wis. -

Edgerton Hospital has been cited for a number of state and federal violations.

The state started investigating after an incident earlier this year when the emergency room at the hospital was left unstaffed because of an emergency in a different department.

A 62-page state report outlines a number critical state and federal violations.

The state began its investigation after an anonymous complaint about what the hospital called a rare incident on Aug. 9.

"We had two codes that went on simultaneously. We had a patient in our swing bed that started coding, and, at the same time, a member of our code team started coding," said Caryn Oleston, vice president of patient services at Edgerton Hospital.

Because of the two simultaneous emergencies, which involved a patient and a staff member who weren't breathing, hospital staff members were pulled from the ER to help, leaving no trained staff in the ER to monitor two patients.

"When you have patients that have life-threatening incidents going on, you send your resources to those areas. The patients in the emergency department were stable," Oleston said.

But it was against the hospital's own policies, and the investigation shed light on other instances in which the hospital violated its own staffing policies.

"This is very serious," said Otis Woods, of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. "In the emergency room, having the appropriately trained staff available to provide services to patients with emergency care -- that's very substantial."

Hospital administrators said they're taking this very seriously but insisted that no patients were ever in any danger because of the staffing issues.

"We are a much stronger organization now because of it, and we continue to work on the plan of correction and monitor it through performance improvement and quality assurance," Oleston said.

The report also went into some training issues with staff members at Edgerton Hospital. Officials said those issues have all been corrected.

A plan of correction was submitted to the state, and after a visit to check things out again, all of the violations had been corrected, according to officials with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

The state said that because of the seriousness of the violations, the hospital will be more closely monitored. If there are violations in the future, the state said it can and will consider taking away the hospital's license, in essence shutting it down.

For now, the hospital has been cleared and is up to state and federal quality standards.

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