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Inspection finds violations at Henderson hospital

Posted February 3, 2015
Updated February 4, 2015

Maria Parham Medical Center
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— A hospital in Henderson is under the microscope following a surprise inspection by the federal government.

Inspectors found Maria Parham Medical Center violated several policies designed to keep patients safe.

Among the findings: Patients brought to the emergency department for mental health issues were routinely handcuffed or shackled to bed, which violates the hospital’s restraint policy.

Inspectors also said steps weren’t taken to remove items from rooms that could harm the patient or staff.

Inspectors also found nurses weren’t providing appropriate oversight of involuntarily committed patients as well as regular emergency department patients.

A Medicare inspection team found expired medical kits, highly flammable oxygen tanks that were unsecured, linens stored in a supply room, clean medical supplies stored on inappropriate shelves and food in the refrigerator that wasn’t dated.

The hospital provided written corrective actions to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If the changes are not put in place, Maria Parham Medical Center could lose Medicare and Medicaid funding.

"Quality and patient safety are our highest priorities, and we take regulatory compliance in all matters very seriously," David Ruggles, marketing director for the hospital, said in a statement Wednesday.

He said the hospital is working with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to ensure regulatory compliance.

"We are working closely and collaboratively with the agency to immediately implement a plan to ensure our regulatory compliance," Ruggles said. "We are confident that the follow-up survey by the agency will confirm that our hospital has successfully addressed the identified issues and is in full compliance."


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  • Southern Girl Feb 5, 2015

    Torro10, you need to learn to spell before you comment on others. "Ellected" is spelled wrong.

  • Local Native Feb 4, 2015

    View quoted thread

    Have frequented Kerr Lake for past 40 years...same here TB. Son had an accident and after fighting with the ER ?doctor?...I unplugged all the plugs and tubes, and paid the EMS to take him to Rex where they corrected what the ER doc had already screwed up. To be fair, there are some good folks there who try to do a good job. Others...I'm not so sure.

  • torr10 Feb 4, 2015

    To Thinking Out Loud...Your statement would seem more intelligent if you knew the difference between 'brakes' and 'breaks'.

    To WRAL...Why don't you report on the reason they are handcuffed? Why don't you pursue the ellected officials of Vance County and the Sheriff's Office to find out why there is a need for this. This is the same county where the Sheriff told us to protect ourselves. Handcuffing these 'people' is exactly what that means. Try using the correct terms. Instead of saying 'mental patients'...say druggies strung out crack or coke or herion. Try saying pushers that got caught and got hurt resisting arrest. Tell the WHOLE truth, not just the PC truth. Henderson is overrun with drugs and scumbags that don't deserve the attention of our medical facilities. They get free beds while hard working honest people sit in the waiting room....

  • REPUBLICAN HANS Feb 4, 2015

    They should have included the nurse who had her jaw broken on Friday at MPH after two Officers removed the restraint from the patient so he could change his clothes...and they shouldnt be restrained why?

  • Tim Dean Feb 4, 2015
    user avatar

    Glad inspectors found this. You did not need them to find this because 100's of locals would tell you they rather go to a vet than MP.

  • thinkin out loud Feb 4, 2015

    Disclaimer: I am not affiliated in anyway with Maria Parham, Duke or the Federal Government.

    This is not as big of a deal as the story may make it seem, depending on your perspective.

    A violation of hospital policy will get you dinged on the inspection but many times the policy is outdated based on current trends. Updating the policy corrects that violation.

    Contrary to what the story says (and perhaps what the report says) oxygen is NOT flammable. It will however, make other things burn easier, faster and hotter. The reason it needs to be secured is because it is under pressure and if it falls over and the regulator brakes off it becomes a missile. Yes, it should be secured.

    I am sure Maria Parham will make the needed corrections and all will be fine on the re-inspection.

  • iknowmyschnitzel Feb 4, 2015

    They started using LE restraints after a weapon was taken by a MH patient a couple years ago. Recall that the patient was shot in the ED after struggling with the officer. I guess the rights of individuals facing IVC come before protecting the others in the ED there for medical issues. SMH....cannot win.

  • Fred Holt Feb 3, 2015
    user avatar

    just put up a sign that says "we don't use approved restraints" and dangerous objects have not been removed from this room. The market will take care of it

  • TB from WF Feb 3, 2015

    I used to live in Henderson. The joke back in the 70s was, if you're in a wreck, tell the ambulance driver, "Take me to Duke."

  • NotAgain Feb 3, 2015

    People of NC, fear not. Dont worry about your safety, just make sure you check on the patients there before you.
    Tillis said. "The market will take care of it."