CMS puts Norton Healthcare under Scanner after Patient Assault

CMS has given the all-clear to Norton Healthcare after the latter's employee allegedly used more force than necessary to perform duties. CMS has done so after a thorough investigation into the incident. It also went through Norton Healthcare's safety protocols prior to issuing the all-clear.

Investigation

Surveyors sent by CMS discovered that Norton Healthcare totally failed to implement any kind of safe management in the concerned case. It was found that the latter did not fully investigate the incidents. Not only that, officials of Norton Healthcare did not follow the rules which ensured that the procedures and policies of the facility banning abuse get implemented. The company failed to push away the concerned staffer from any patient care post these incidents.

CMS, in its report, provided an exhaustive description of the violence related to the incident. The non-desirable activity was done by one mental health worker. The incident took place in Louisville, Kentucky. The employee engaged in violence against two patients. The report cites a specific instance where the employee violently subdued a patient who took away an ink pen from a staff member. The worker utilized his complete body weight to pin that patient on the bed. It continued until the said patient dropped the pen.

Patient treatment

There was also another horrific incident where the same Norton Healthcare personnel grabbed another patient by his throat. He took the action after the patient tried to assault another staff member. The bed rolled away in the ensuing melee and the head of the patient made contact with the wall. Security rushed in and had to forcefully separate the employee from the patient.

The CMS report said the failure of Norton Healthcare placed the concerned patients and others at grave risk of life-threatening injuries. Federal documents stated that there was a fair chance of the company losing its advantage to bill Medicare by April-end due to such issues. Douglas Winkelhake, the division president, hospital operations, said the concerned employee has already been shunted away from the unit. That employee is currently on leave. The system-submitted plan carried recommendations such as changing the policies and procedures. It is advised that the monitoring level be increased. There should also be sufficient training for all restraint procedures. Education should also be improved. The CMS then conducted a site visit and reviewed the plan. It found that the system is in accordance with Medicare standards.

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