The Joint Commission said it is conducting an unannounced, for-cause survey today at Greater Southeast Community Hospital in Washington, after city health inspectors earlier last week found broken equipment in the OR and overall staffing shortages that have allegedly created unsafe and unsanitary conditions.
A Joint Commission spokeswoman confirmed that surveyors were on site at the beleaguered, 330-bed hospital, which serves some of the Districts poorest neighborhoods, with a daily census of about 100-110 patients.
The latest setback for the hospital comes just days after city health officials found broken monitors, faulty IV pumps and broken stretchers in a part-time operating room, according to a report in the Washington Post. City inspectors also documented staffing shortagesespecially in the housekeeping and maintenance ranksthat have contributed to what they deemed as unsafe and unsanitary conditions, the newspaper said.
The hospital has been in trouble with the Joint Commission before. In 2003, Greater Southeast lost its accreditation after it scored poorly in a number of patient-care categories.
The hospitals latest woes could come with a heavy price tag. City officials said they would revoke a special property tax abatement that the hospital currently receives. Envision Hospital Corp., the hospitals parent company, said it would have used the tax dollars to help defray the costs for capital improvements and the purchase of electronic equipment, the Post reported. The provision had allowed the hospital to save about $30 million over the six years.
Cyril Allen, the hospitals chief executive, told the Post that he disagrees with the citys report and called conditions at the facility a safe environment. -- by Matthew DoBias