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St. Luke's Health News & Updates

H-Town Man

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I'm not sure how many people realized it but St. Luke's has been through some trouble. Some investigative reports about a string of patient deaths following heart procedures led to them losing their Medicare/Medicaid certification, which is a big deal. They had a patient die a couple years ago after receiving a blood transfusion for the wrong blood type, which doesn't typically happen in a first-world country. And their new hospital campus which was originally going to be complete around 2019 is now hoping to be complete around 2024.


This place, particularly their heart surgery, is one of the 2 or 3 things that put Houston on the medical map. When they built their Cesar Pelli-designed professional building 20 years or so ago, they seemed to be a step ahead of everyone in the Med Center. Now they appear to be trying to stay above water.




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I've been reading Becker's Hospital Review.  Some of the media reports on MDACC are troubling. Here is a Click2houston article.



HOUSTON - One of two patients who were noted in a federal inspection report about the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as having died is still alive, according to hospital officials.

The inspection by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services was conducted in August after the December 2018 death of a 23-year-old female leukemia patient following a contaminated blood transfusion.

The 268-page report details interviews that were held with nurses, physicians and other hospital staff in connection with the cases of several patients. The inspection was conducted between Aug. 12 and Aug. 23.

It covered the topics of patient rights, infection control and surgical services.

Among the findings detailed in the report:

* A 54-year-old brain cancer patient died after having a bad reaction to an overdose of anesthetics.

* A chemotherapy patient who was admitted in July died Aug. 16, 2019, after becoming unresponsive.

* A 3-year-old, undergoing cancer treatment, was given anesthesia seven times within a two-week period without proper consent.

* A 2-year-old was given anesthesia 16 times without proper consent.

Issues uncovered and mentioned in the report include:

*  Bad employee training.

*  Poor record-keeping.

*  Unsanitary conditions.

*  Malfunctioning medical equipment.

*  Failing to properly clean lead aprons used to protect patients from radiation hazards.

*  Failure to properly clean up spills of chemotherapy drugs.

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9 minutes ago, Ross said:

That's all kind of surprising. My experience at MDA was they checked everything several times. There's often not much that can be done with respect to bad reactions to anesthesia.


I'm confused about the proper consent details. A baby given anesthesia 16 times without proper consent? That just doesn't sound right.


I'm sure the initial dose of anesthesia was with consent from the parents. The remaining doses were not verified.

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Harris Health issues correction plans after patient deaths, federal reviews


Following multiple patient deaths and federal reviews, Harris Health System issued its plans for correction Dec. 13.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services completed its survey of Harris Health System — the county's safety-net health care system — on Sept. 27, according to the CMS Statement of Deficiencies report. The survey found that Harris Health was out of compliance with CMS standards in patient rights; quality assurance and performance improvement; nursing services; laboratory services; and rehabilitation services, among other deficiencies.

The CMS reviews and a review by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) were prompted by patient deaths caused by medical errors. In April, an ER patient died in a bathroom at Ben Taub Hospital after hospital staff lost track of him. A second emergency department patient died at Ben Taub in July.

On Sept. 12, a maternal death occurred at Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital after a caesarian section, according to the CMS report. Among the deficiencies identified by the CMS, it found that from the time of the laboring mother's arrival at the hospital, admission, treatment and arrival at the operating room, there was no blood pressure or temperature documented by hospital staff. There was also no type of consultation with other providers to identify a cause of the patient's persistently fast heart rate.

Harris Health initiated a number of changes in the several areas surveyed by the CMS, which are summarized below. Harris Health also made available online the full CMS Statement of Deficiencies report, its full plans for correction and its summary of those plans.

Harris Health isn't the only hospital system in Houston to go through federal reviews after patient deaths in recent months. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center also faced CMS reviews in the past year or so caused by medical mistakes.

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Baylor St. Luke's heart transplant program regains Medicare compliance


Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center's heart transplant program has regained compliance with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

CMS notified Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center on Sept. 23 that the hospital was approved as a certified provider of adult heart transplant services after a successful survey of hospital facilities and operations, according to a Sept. 29 news release. The heart transplant program had not been eligible for Medicare funding since its certification was terminated in August 2018.

Baylor St. Luke's continued to perform heart transplants over the past two years as the hospital worked to regain CMS compliance. Since October 2018, more than 40 heart transplants have been performed at Baylor St. Luke's with a survival rate of 98%, the hospital system said in the release.

"We are proud to be among the few specialized institutions in the country that can provide patients with a second chance at life and the opportunity to lead active and productive lives, and I am humbled that our patients have continued to trust us with their care," Doug Lawson, CEO of St. Luke's Health, said in the release.

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CHI Health Systems 'IT security incident': Houston's St. Luke's impacted by nationwide outage


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- You might not see an appointment through on Tuesday if you're being seen at a St. Luke's Health facility.

The hospital system serving the Houston area confirmed that its parent company CommonSprit Health is managing an "IT security incident" that's impacting some of its facilities nationwide.

"As a precautionary step, we have taken certain IT systems offline, which may include electronic health record (EHR) systems and other systems. Our facilities are following existing protocols for system outages and taking steps to minimize the disruption," a St. Luke's statement read in part.

The health system adds that some patients should expect appointments to be rescheduled and direct communication from their provider or care facility if they're impacted.

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Brad Lembcke Named President of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center
March 5, 2024

HOUSTON, TX Bradley T. Lembcke, MD, MBA, has been selected as president of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, the flagship academic medical institution of the St. Luke’s Health System in the Texas Medical Center, effective March 4.

“Dr. Brad Lembcke is an excellent choice as the new President of Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. He has been a proven leader at the Medical Center during his tenure. Dr. Lembcke has been a member of the Baylor College of Medicine faculty since joining Baylor St. Luke’s and has provided strong support for the College’s missions of healthcare, education and research,” said Dr. Paul Klotman, president, CEO and executive dean of Baylor College of Medicine. 

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