Southwest Regional Medical Center in Compliance with Department of HealthDecember 3, 2013
In response to recent allegations against Southwest Regional Medical Center, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (“DOH”), in an unannounced visit, conducted a thorough inspection and analysis of care provided at the hospital. Three DOH inspectors poured over patient and personnel charts relevant to the allegations. The investigation revealed the allegations to have been misplaced and unwarranted. Specifically, the following comment, which also is available on-line, was issued by the DOH as a result of its investigation:
“This report is the result of an unannounced onsite complaint investigation completed on November 1, 2013 at Southwest Regional Medical Center. It was determined that the facility was in compliance with the requirements of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Rules and Regulations for Hospitals.”
The complaint that spurred the investigation by the DOH was initiated on October 22, 2013, by a former Southwest Regional Medical Center employee who filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania in Pittsburgh. The employee’s allegations included that Southwest Regional Medical Center failed to provide adequate care, refused to report purported inadequacies, and terminated her employment for raising these matters. The complaint, as evidenced by the findings of the DOH, among other sources, is groundless and will be vigorously defended by the hospital.
“Southwest Regional Medical Center remains committed to providing quality healthcare for the community,” expressed Jami Diamond Boris, MD, Chief Medical Officer. “These are serious allegations, and we will vigorously defend the good work we do every day. The Department of Health visit was the first of many steps, which will provide our community the assurance it deserves. The DOH report, which completely exonerated the Medical Center of any non-compliance issues, paves the way for us to move forward with continuing to provide quality healthcare for our community.”
Despite the serious financial impact on small community hospitals by the new Affordable Care Act, as well as the impact resulting from this recent legal issue, Southwest Regional Medical Center has committed that it will not be deterred from its sincere drive to support the community with high quality medical care. In fact, as early as September, Southwest Regional Medical Center announced plans to re-design its services to better reflect the needs of the community. Some of the changes include expanding the emergency department and providing every patient with a private and newly renovated room, wireless internet and new Stryker IsoGel air support mattresses. Southwest Regional Medical Center also announced plans to convert the Intensive Care Unit to an Intermediate Care Unit and move away from rarely performed evening and weekend surgical procedures. All other surgical procedures will continue to be available, with patients now receiving a private room for post-surgical recovery.
“With the many changes in healthcare, we are moving forward to provide the level and quality of care that is right for our community,” continued Dr. Boris. “Having the support, trust and faith of our community is imperative to the future survival of Southwest Regional Medical Center.”