With all of the great strides we have seen in the field of medicine, one can only hope that patients in medical facilities are better off today than their peers were in the past. However, as will all types of patient care, technologies have little use when not in the hands of properly trained and skilled workers.
A reminder of just how crucial staff training is to the patient care experience comes from the headlines in California when staff at Community Hospital of San Bernardino elected to disconnect an alarm on a ventilator needed by a patient with breathing difficulties.
According to a report from the California Department of Public Health, the California Nursing Home made multiple errors related to the death of the who requiring breathing assistance. The investigation revealed that:
- An alarm on the ventilator machine used to detect abnormal readings was intentionally turned down by staff members, making the alarm inaudible
- The facility failed to train staff on how to care for ventilator patients
- Staff failed to check on the patient every four hours as required under the facilities protocols
- Even after staff noted a change in the patient’s respiration rate, they failed to monitor any changes
The errors with respect to the care of this ventilator patient resulted in a AA citation and an $80,000 fine. Read more about this incident at a California Nursing Home here.
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