Healthcare News & Insights

Hospital fined for violating safety standards

Nurses’ inadequate access to key infection control equipment and related safety violations have landed one hospital in hot water with several federal agencies.

Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, Washington was cited and fined $8k for failing to follow H1N1 influenza safety standards set by the CDC and OSHA.

The citation followed a complaint by the Washington State Nurses Association that the hospital wasn’t following appropriate infection control policies when treating H1N1 patients. Among the violations inspectors found:

  • inadequate written respiratory protection policy
  • some employees who wear N-95 respirators weren’t properly fitted or trained, and
  • no provisions for men with facial hair that might interfere with the respirator seal.

Inspectors found eight specific violations.

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