RSSAuthor Archive for Erica Jordan

Erica Jordan

Erica is an Editorial Assistant and manages Infection Control Weekly Monitor and Hospital Safety Connection. She also blogs weekly for Stressed Out Nurses and Patient Safety.

Hospital shooting raises security questions

Hospital safety is being questioned after a patient shot and killed a doctor at Florida Hospital in Orlando on May 27.

Last month, a 53-year-old patient shot and killed a 41-year-old transplant surgeon in the hospital’s parking garage and then killed himself, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Since the murder, the hospital has stepped up its security and police escorts are available for those who need it.

Security experts say physicians are becoming more common targets of angry patients.

Missouri hospital evacuated safely during weekend tornado

The entire 367-bed St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, MO, needed to be evacuated after a tornado tore through the city May 22.

The tornado caused extensive damage to the hospital. The nine-story facility’s walls were moved 10 feet out of place, debris was strewn about patient rooms, and medical records and other documents were blown away, reports CBS News. Hospital staff promptly evacuated the 183 patients out of the facility and from the emergency room and set up a triage center in the parking lot. After evaluating patients, nurses sent them to other facilities for treatment.

St. John’s readied the facility before the tornado struck, declaring “Condition Gray,” , prompting patients and visitors to go into protected parts of the building such as stairwells.

A physician at the hospital, Jim Riscoe, MD, praised the hospital’s staff to CBS News, saying they acted professionally and communicated well.

No violations found in incident involving heavy equipment that injured two

OSHA found no violations in an incident at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, IL, where a 3,000 pound piece of equipment came crashing down in a maintenance corridor, injuring two workers.

Kathy Webb, an OSHA area director in Aurora, IL, told The Chicago Tribune’s TribLocal of Downers Grove that OSHA will not issue any citations because there are no standards that cover removing air conditioning and heating equipment, which happened to be what fell on top of the men.

OSHA officials looked at the guidelines, as well as accepted industry practices and standards, and could not come to an agreement on the proper way to remove equipment that large.

How do you think OSHA should have handled the situation? Should citations have been issued? Let us know in our comment section.

Infected water system to be replaced in Washington hospital

The water system at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, WA, will be treated with chlorine in an effort to kill bacteria that can cause Legionnaire’s disease.

Since January, three cases of bacteria have tested positive in patients at the facility. In January, two occurred in patients occupying the same room, and another case occurred in March, reports The Spokesman-Review. All three patients were elderly.

It is a major undertaking for the hospital to clean its water system, reports the paper. Water samples were collected on May 5 and tests will take place in the next two weeks to confirm the bacteria have been killed.

Man accused of murder at Napa State Hospital will go to trial

In the ongoing saga at Napa State Hospital in Napa, CA, following a nurse’s murder by a patient, a judge has ruled that Jess Willard Massey will stand trial for murder.

Massey will be on trial for the murder of nurse Donna Gross on October 23. After speaking with Napa County Sheriff’s Detective Todd Hancock, Massey admitted to the killing, saying he heard voices telling him Gross was the devil, reports the Napa Valley Register.

A hearing will take place June 14. If convicted, Massey faces life in prison without possibility of parole.

New infant security system dubbed Hugs and Kisses

A new infant security system involving ankle straps and monitors has been launched at St. Lucie Medical Center in Port St. Lucie, FL, to ensure infant abductions and mix-ups don’t occur.

Infants born at the hospital will wear ankle straps and a monitor known as a Hugs tag so nurses can track the infants anywhere on the maternity floor, reports tcpalm.com. An alarm will sound if an infant is moved to an unauthorized zone or if the ankle straps are removed.

Mothers will don a tag—called the Kisses tag—that electronically connects to her baby’s monitor. An alarm will also sound if the mother and baby’s tags don’t match.

Though no specific incident triggered the new alarm system, hospital spokeswoman Ginger King says the organization wanted an extra layer of protection to help parents feel safer.

Check out other infant security system news at Mac’s Safety Space.


How does your facility prevent infant abductions? Let us know in our comment section.

Nurses outraged over emergency room security switch up

A change in emergency room security staff has nurses up in arms at St. Josephs Hospital in St. Paul, MN. The hospital has replaced off-duty police officers on the night shift with security guards, reports twincities.com.

The hospital’s nurses union says hospital workers are put at risk by this change. The hospital says that switching is perfectly safe and hospital security guards work longer shifts than off-duty police officers. Off-duty police officers will still secure the emergency room Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights.

How do you think the hospital should handle the nurse’s opposition? Is this an issue of worker safety if the hospital still employs security guards? Let us know in our comment section.

Patient dies at Napa State Hospital from alleged attack

A patient died April 11 at Napa (CA) State Hospital, Napa while being subdued after attacking a fellow patient.

This event comes after a string of security issues at Napa State Hospital.

The incident, which occurred in a high security area of the hospital, has staff worried about how patients will respond, according to KGO-TV of San Francisco.

Kathleen Thomas-Morris, a Service Employees International Union steward, told KGO that patients and staff are scared of what might happen because of the death of a patient.

An autopsy was scheduled for April 13 because it was unclear how the patient died.

How do you think Napa State Hospital should be handling these ongoing situations? Let us know in our comment section.

Fear of radiation exposure cause pediatric clinic relocation

Employee concern about possible radiation exposure from the radiology department has prompted Sutter Amador Hospital, Jackson, CA, to temporarily relocate its pediatric clinic.

Clinic employees expressed their concerns about potential radiation exposure and recent health issues to hospital officials, but hospital spokeswoman, Jody Boetzer, told The Sacramento Bee that she couldn’t confirm those health issues.

Sutter Amador Hospital hired an independent health physicist to perform a full risk assessment of the building to test it for radiation. The final report is expected to be delivered by the end of this week. The health physicist also performed radiation testing on March 30 in the radiology department and in the pediatric clinic, but found readings to be normal, reports The Sacramento Bee.

How does your facility handle fears of radiation exposure? What is your plan of action?

Do your emergency exercises truly test the capabilities of staff to protect your patients?

I wanted to share with our readers an exciting opportunity for those in charge of emergency exercises and drills in healthcare facilities.

If you wonder if your drills really prepare your staff for responding to emergencies, situations that may include vertical evacuations of your most vulnerable patients, then HCPro’ audioconference, Hospital Emergency Exercises: How to Design and Execute Realistic Exercises and Drills, is for you.

In the first part of the program, Marge McFarlane, PhD, CHSP, HEM, MEP, CHEP, a safety consultant currently serving the Wisconsin Hospital Emergency Preparedness Program as the Department of Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program coordinator, identifies the wealth of resources already out there to help you design meaningful drills for all types of situations and accreditation requirements.

In the second part of the program, Meg Femino, who is Director for Emergency Management at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, presents a case study for the vertical evacuation drill of large full scale NICU—the drill required first the horizontal evacuation of 34 infants to a smoke zone and then a vertical evacuation within 25 minutes 34.

In addition to the expert advice, participants will receive resource tools including:

  • Exercise design checklists *
  • Exercise design planning documents * Multiyear exercise review
  • Sample exercise objectives/activities for target capabilities or critical functions

Click here for more information and to register for the program.