Remember to check your stairwells!

By: October 16th, 2013 Email This Post Print This Post

I think it goes without saying that the folks at San Francisco General Hospital feel awful about the media coverage they have been getting surrounding the discovery of the body of a woman who was missing for two weeks. She was apparently recovering after checking herself in for a bladder infection, and while the investigation is still ongoing, doctors suspect she wandered off for a walk, perhaps under the influence of medication.

The body of Lynne Spalding, 57, was found in a stairwell 17 days after she went missing Sept. 21. A nurse had checked in on her about 15 minutes before she went missing and started a hospital-wide search that somehow didn’t include an exterior stairwell used as a fire escape that was apparently alarmed.

I used to do overnight security on a college campus and one of the most important things I did was make the rounds in every campus building, open rarely-opened doors, and have a look-see inside, just to be sure. I think it goes without saying that if you are a medical facility, your security staff should be checking every nook and cranny for intruders – and lost patients. Maybe it’s time for a review of your own security protocols.

New security measures were put into place today at San Francisco General to avoid a tragedy like this again, but you can be sure that OSHA, The Joint Commission, and CMS will be all over this.

See the article: New security measures in place at SF General Hospital


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