Kent Hospital To Spend $1.7 M On Improvements After Medical Errors

Jun 22, 2018

State health officials have ordered Kent Hospital in Warwick to invest at least $1.7 million to “improve patient quality and safety” following a series of medical errors.

During a recent six month period, the hospital reported errors involving four patients, the state Department of Health said in a consent agreement released Friday afternoon.  Two patients underwent surgeries on the wrong place on their bodies. Two others had a surgical tool, called a guidewire – used to insert a catheter into a blood vessel -- left inside their bodies following catheterization.

Hospitals are required by state law to report such incidents.

Kent Hospital is operated by Care New England, the state’s second-largest hospital system in Rhode Island.

Hospital officials said in a statement Friday they are “firmly committed to addressing the issues put forward by the Rhode Island Department of Health today. There is no greater issue on which we focus than patient safety and quality of care.”

The hospital’s operators have “begun an active and aggressive improvement plan that is resulting in a complete and thorough review of our safety culture and practices, hospital-wide education, retraining, and recommitment to a level of excellence that will be unsurpassed,’’ read the joint statement from Care New England’s president and CEO, Dr. James E. Fanale, and Kent’s interim president, Dr. Raymond O. Powrie.

The incidents at Kent reported in the consent agreement are as follows:

·        On Dec. 6, 2017, patient #1 had a surgical reopening or “re-excision” of the right breast “which was performed on the wrong area of the breast.”

·        On March 14, 2018 patient #2 had an incision on the left abdomen to remove a kidney “which was intended to be done on the right abdomen.”  

·        On April 10, 2018 patient #3 had a catheter inserted using a guidewire “that was subsequently found to be retained in the patient following the procedure.”

·        On May 20, 2018, patient #4 had a catheter inserted using a guidewire which also “was subsequently found to be retained in the patient following the procedure.”

State health officials have agreed not to take regulatory action against Kent provided the hospital operators follow through with the agreement.

Kent presented a 100-day “turnaround plan” during a June 13th meeting with state health officials.  The hospital also has agreed to hire an independent expert by August 1st to monitor compliance with the agreement.

It’s the second hospital in Rhode Island this month to enter into a consent agreement related to patient errors.

Rhode Island Hospital, operated by Lifespan, the state’s largest hospital group, agreed to spend at least $1 million to improve its systems after three patients were given diagnostic tests intended for other patients, and a fourth had survey on the wrong vertebra. 

updated 6-23-18