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Sanitation issues continue to hamper Venice Regional Bayfront Health

Alix Redmonde / My Suncoast News, 9/24/15

A series of sewage spills and rodent infestation are just the latest reasons why even some of the doctors who practice at Venice Regional Bayfront Health are raising questions about the facility and its future.

The hospital now owned by Community Health Systems (CMS) has it's share of challenges, including the highest rate of hospital associated infections in the State in 2014 to receiving 13 violations of State and Federal regulations from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) in the hospitals handling of the sewage leak in May OF 2015.

The hospital addressed issues of rodent infestation, a dripping air conditioning unit in the kitchen and sewage leaks in a press conference this summer, but, three toilets overflowing more recently prompted patient evacuation in the intensive care unit.

Dr. Michael Patete, M.D., of Ear, Nose, throat and Sinus consults patients at Venice Regional. He said the hospital did well handling of the latest sewage leak. He happened to be there.

"The toilets were overflowing, people were mobilized immediately," Dr. Patete added, "The patients were immediately removed from the room, they were removed from that intensive care unit and from the adjacent intensive care unit, they isolated the third unit that the toilets overflowed in."

The hospital also notified (AHCA), and local health authorities.

The air, and floors were tested explained Dr. Patete. "Once it was deemed safe patients were moved back."

Dr. Patete added doctors want to make sure these things are not continuing, and that as long as doctors are involved with this, it's going to continue to improve.

Sentiments echoed by Chief of Staff, Issam Halaby, M.D., who writes in an exclusive email to ABC 7.

Dear Ms Redmonde:

In view of the recent events, the population of Venice is rightfully concerned about their hospital. Since the initial leak , the community has heard and read about regulatory agencies and inspections, as well as subsequent plumbing issues.

The concern of the community is obviously two fold. Is the hospital safe? And are those in charge of the hospital dealing with issues in a manner that puts patient safety first.

The hospital is an old building and will continue to have physical plant issues that will need to be addressed. In view of the recent events, every physical plant issue is being dealt with in a very aggressive manner, including the last leak, which while actually a very minor plumbing problem, prompted patients to be moved and the unit thoroughly evaluated for patient safety before reopening it. That is part of keeping patient safety first.

Over the past couple of months, I have personally operated on two physicians who chose to come to Venice Regional , and one of our colleagues brought his father to have heart surgery at Venice 2 weeks ago.

Those of us who work in the hospital, believe that while there are physical plant issues that will need to be continuously addressed, the hospital is safe, and we are trusting ourselves and our own families to be treated here.

While CHS has put in the effort to rectify any known building issues, and while very strict policies have been put in place to make sure that patient safety is the prime consideration in case of an event, this only addresses the immediate needs of the community.

Venice Regional, regardless of who owns it, belongs to the citizens of Venice. The great majority of physicians and nurses live in Venice , and therefore have an intense commitment to the success of this Hospital. People move to Venice because they know they have access to health care nearby.

The type of care provided at Venice Hospital is comparable to a much larger hospital. We treat an older population, with complex medical issues, and we routinely perform complex medical proceduresthat are at the cutting edge of medical technology. The population of Venice is growing rapidly, faster in fact than most surrounding areas.

Over the next couple of years, Venice needs a hospital building that can meet the growing needs of the patients and staff. Whether this means expanding the current building and completely upgrading the infrastructure, or building a new hospital at a different location, will need to be discussed at the community level. We urge CHS to consider that long term investment in our community.Simply ignoring that, is not acceptable to the medical staff.

As far as infection rates are concerned, the numbers published previously took the medical staff by surprise. Those numbers are usually one to two years behind. The staff and quality control officers , were able to substantially reduce those rates. Unfortunately that data will not show up until 2016.

The only way to achieve perfect numbers is to refer out all complex and high risk cases. The medical staff at this hospital will not turn away any patient, and will provide full care to those very sick patients. Our processes are under constant review to make sure that we are always reviewing and improving our outcomes.

There is a consensus among the doctors on staff at Venice Regional that the current physical plant and environment are not compatible with anticipated future growth. Over the next couple of years, Venice needs a hospital building that can meet the growing needs of the patients and staff. Whether this means expanding the current building and completely upgrading the infrastructure, or building a new hospital at a different location, will need to be discussed at the community level. We urge CHS to consider that long term investment in our community. Simply ignoring that, is not acceptable to the medical staff.

Venice Regional, regardless of who owns it, belongs to the citizens of Venice. The great majority of physicians and nurses live in Venice , and therefore have an intense commitment to the success of this Hospital. People move to Venice because they know they have access to health care nearby.

We, the physicians , share the concerns of our patients. We are entrusted with their care, and take that responsibility to heart. That feeling is echoed by our nursing staff. We will continue be their advocate. We will tirelessly fight for their safety , and work with the corporate leadership as much as possible towards a state-of-the-art hospital.

We remain hopeful that CHS will honor its commitment to this community by developing a facility improvement program that will bring to this community the type of facility that should be expected in the twenty first century.

Sincerely

Issam A. Halaby, MD, PhD, FACS

Chief of staff

Venice Regional Bayfront Health

 

 

Source: http://www.mysuncoast.com/health/news/venice-regional-bayfront-health/article_65cd8b98-60ac-11e5-b7d5-a3f24af9c194.html

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