Inspection Records, Internal Sources – NBC Bay Area

That same week, state lawmakers blasted executives at Good Sumaritan Hospital and its parent company, HCA Healthcare, to “unsafe” levels of security and staffing practices. The NBC Bay Area Investigation Unit has learned from multiple sources within the hospital that public health inspectors are actively investigating a large number. The number of recent complaints filed by nurses with state regulatory bodies.

A spokesperson for HCA Healthcare confirmed that the inspector recently visited the facility, but did not say why.

With another obvious blow to the hospital, Los Olivos Women’s Medical Group, an OBGYN medical institution affiliated with Stanford Healthcare, stopped using the Good Sumaritan Hospital for childbirth, surgery and care. emergency at the beginning of the month. I did. Staff and security issues led Los Olivos to choose another partner hospital, according to multiple sources from The Good Samaritan. Los Olivos and healthcare partner Stanford Healthcare haven’t returned multiple NBC Bay Area calls, but the Los Olivos website now says medical care will use nearby Elcamino Hospital.

In a statement to the NBC Bay Area, HCA spokesperson Janine Delavega said patient safety was a priority of the hospital and that “mothers and babies are safe with our primary doctors and care teams. It’s a relationship. “

Labor pains and staffing violations in the delivery service

However, many nursing staffing complaints came from the Good Samaritan delivery service, and public health inspectors discovered four separate staffing violations in 2019 alone.

“A review of staffing files for the week of 8/11/19 to 8/17/19 is mandatory for 5 days a week (8/11, 8/12, 8/13, 814 and 8). We have shown that the placement rate is not reached./16) ”, indicates one of these reports.

Records of the Good Samaritans’ health tests are currently not published online, but in a statement, De la Vega said the hospital had committed similar violations as recently as this year. Without specifying the department, she writes: We take the personnel issue seriously and look at each one thoroughly. “

“Oh, there are days when it’s scary to work,” said Diana Rothman, a high-risk prenatal nurse at the hospital. “I don’t know what kind of staff to allocate.

COVID vaccine controversy and CEO resignation

This week’s progress is just a few since the hospital’s name became a national title in January, allowing staff in the neighboring school district to register for vaccination before qualifying according to county guidelines. . It will be a month later. CEO Joe De Schryver later resigned shortly thereafter. DeSchryver wrote in an email to staff that he would be leaving to pursue “career advancement opportunities.”

The NBC Bay Area research unit has briefed more than 10 Good Samaritan insiders about safety issues they believe could put patients at risk. In addition to staff violations, a review of state testing records revealed other cases in which regulators said they could endanger patients.

According to these sources, staff got agitated and accused the hospital’s and HCA’s healthcare management of prioritizing profits over patients.

Christine Weng, nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit, said, “Our goal is to take care of patients so that they can return to their families.”

High number of complaints and low hospitalization rating

According to state records, the Good Samaritans have received more than twice as many complaints as the average California hospital of their size in the past three years.

The Medicare and Medicaid Service Center uses a 5-star rating system to assess the hospital’s overall performance and awards Good Samaritan a 2-star rating.

“Over the past 12 to 18 months, I have become intolerable,” Rothman said. “HCA is profitable and managers and managers receive bonuses from our blood, sweat and tears. “

After several requests, HCA Healthcare declined to interview the NBC Bay Area. One of the many statements to the press concerned the breach of staff.

“At Good Sumaritan Hospital, patient safety is a top priority. As part of our quality improvement journey, we will take immediate action and take steps to prevent the recurrence of these rare cases. Wrote de la Vega.

Other troublesome cases

In addition to staffing violations, NBC Bay Area investigations have revealed several other annoying incidents.

At the end of April, a helipad elevator broke down and an airlifted patient was stranded on the roof of a hospital for 16 minutes. NBC Bay Area obtained video of a cell phone in a helicopter landing in a hospital parking lot to unload a patient.

A spokesperson for the HCA confirmed the incident, saying the patient was harmless and the elevator was tested three times a day.

In October, Santa Clara County fined a hospital for a COVID test for misinforming patients about the COVID test and for dismissing a symptomatic patient who was also a hospital nurse. ..

A month ago, a nurse saw a fly crawling through the patient’s nose in the hospital’s intensive care unit, according to a state test report. We quickly found live maggots inside.

In March 2019, the patient was left in the toilet bowl from 8:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., leaving deep tissue damage, according to a state test report.

Another test report found that in 2018, the patient died of her mother’s consequences after accidentally receiving two painkillers.

In the same year, proceedings were taken to the hospital for losing the body because “another body was piled up in it.” The Good Samaritan settled the proceedings and said the changes to NBC’s Bay Area were made after the storage protocol was violated.

Struck down by lawmakers

Senator Dave Cortese, one of the representatives of the South Bay trio named Good Samaritan and leaders of HCA Healthcare last week, said their letter came after several months of round-trip discussions with the hospital.

“It was a really ongoing concern,” Cortese said. “There seems to be some tonal deafness, some worry and a lack of compassion. “

Despite recent Good Samaritan issues, HCA Healthcare’s business appears to be on the right track. According to the company’s financial reports, the company’s stock price has nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic, and last year’s profits fell from $ 3.5 billion in 2019 to $ 3.8 billion. billions of dollars.

Weng said she felt misunderstood.

“They used COVID as an excuse and said, ‘Oh, I lost so much money that we had to restrict ourselves,'” she said.

According to nonprofit researcher Christopher Whaley Rand Corporation, medical costs at Good Sumaritan Hospital are above the national average. Not surprisingly, given that the parent company is HCA Healthcare.

“HCA is one of the largest, if not the largest, hospital systems in the country,” says Whaley. “As hospitals grow, prices rise and the quality of care does not improve or even deteriorates. “

Internal Good Samaritan sources point out that the HCA acquired the Good Samaritan in 1996 as a negative turning point for hospitals, which have been a cornerstone of South Bay Healthcare for decades. Make. Originally funded by the church, the hospital opened to patients as a nonprofit organization in 1965.

Now Weng and Rothman say they are reaching their limits.

“I really thought about leaving,” Weng said.

They say the business side of good Samaritan health care is a barrier to providing care.

“We have to draw a line somewhere,” Rothman said.

Investigative reporter Candice Nguyen and investigative reporter Michael Bot contributed to this report. Email them to contact them about this and other story candice.nguyen@nbcuni.com Or michael.bott@nbcuni.com ..

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