A Dialysis patient who has asked to remain nameless emailed, "My dialysis center closed down by Medicare. Over 130 dialysis patients are displaced. Having to drive to treatments out of town. The state of Texas filed a 59-page report citing problems with both healthcare, unsanitary conditions and the decaying condition of the actual building. And I do not like furnishing my name. Repercussions could follow."
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Many patients feel as though they do not have a voice, and while most Dialysis Centers and Professionals do an excellent job, patients have the ability to highlight areas of improvement and concern. When patients who attended a leading Dialysis Organization's Center complained of mold, non-compliant practices, major oversights, infection control issues, and concerns about how they were being treated it lead to a Medicare Investigation.
According to the Longview News Journal, the center in question had "deficient practices" and posed an immediate jeopardy to patient health and safety and placed all patients at risk for likely harm, serious injury, impairment and/or subsequent death. Violations noted by investigators included overloading Dietitians with patients beyond the state’s minimum ratio of 125 patients for each dietitian. According to the report, a dietitian on Aug. 31 said her patient load that day was 137 patients, which investigators said fails to allow her time to address patients’ nutritional needs.
Make sure that you get your Dialysis Patients' Rights Book (click here) to help ensure that you can correct any issues or deficiencies at your Dialysis Center as well as improve your treatment outcomes without concerns of consequences, blacklisting or retribution. Patients are a critical component of correcting issues at their centers before matters get worse - not to cause problems for professionals, but instead to help address concerns and allow improved results and continued success at the Dialysis Facilities.
The facility that was shut down also failed to make sure that staff followed its own policies for preventing cross-contamination between patients, staff or visitors, or that hand-washing sinks were available in each of the training rooms. Infection control violations noted by investigators included two staff members acknowledging that they didn’t change the gauze over a patient’s access site after stopping blood flow.
The physical condition of Dialysis Center was also a concern with shifting, slanting and tilting in the flooring. Also, there were ceiling tiles that had dropped from the metal frame in the training and exam rooms; doors with locks that weren’t latching and closing properly, which allowed staff and visitors to enter the secure treatment area; apparent water-stained ceiling tiles; and rodent droppings above the tiles, according to the report.
Other deficiencies included missing railings meant to prevent patients from falling; fire hazards in the form of unlabeled exit doors; window sills with bugs, spider webs and dust particles; a leaky sink with black substance on the walls underneath the sink; yellowish-stained carpet; graffiti with staff member names on an exterior brick wall; and also biohazard storage located in a separate, unlocked portable building, which allowed the public access to the sharp containers containing needles, syringes and blood tubing, according to the report.
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Now the center is currently attempting to fix the issues that have been identified so that they do not lose their Medicare funding payments. How do you ensure that you are getting the best care at Dialysis? Have you requested your copy of the Dialysis Patients' Rights Book yet (click here)? Weigh-in with your own pros and cons at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page which has over 86,000 friends (click here). While you are there, like the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page and visit KidneyBuzz.com regularly (approximately 250,000 monthly viewers) for the latest tailored breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, on Dialysis, have Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives. You may become a regular visitor like, Tom Johnson who said, "Kidney Buzz is the best source of information for any patient that suffers from kidney disease. I'm happy that I found the advertisement for the Kidney Buzz warning bracelet that put me in touch. Thank you for all that you do."