Three New York City hospital executives have left their leadership roles a month after a patient died in the emergency department of their facility from a misdiagnosed ailment.
NYC Health & Hospitals has moved Coney Island Hospital's acting Executive Director Robert Hughes and Medical Director Dr. John Maese into other roles in the system, while Chief Nursing Officer Terry Mancher has announced her retirement.
The moves come after a patient died, allegedly of undiagnosed meningitis, on Feb. 1. The New York City medical examiner's office has confirmed it is investigating the death of Grisel Soto, 47.
According to published reports, nursing staff at Coney Island misdiagnosed the condition that led to Soto's ED visit as an overdose of synthetic marijuana. The office said Soto's autopsy results are not yet complete.
HHC spokesman Ian Michaels denied that the leadership changes at the hospital were related to an individual incident. The system declined to comment on any patient's case. “There have been numerous leadership changes throughout NYC Health & Hospitals in the past year as the public healthcare system reorganizes,” Michaels said in an e-mailed statement.
The New York Post cited an anonymous source who said Soto's death prompted HHC to review the hospital's operations and found that Coney Island had hired 450 additional staffers, most of them nurses, without prior authorization from the system.
Michaels said there had been no “unauthorized hires,” but would not respond to specific questions about the hires.
The Post's reported sources said Coney Island Hospital is also plagued with insect infestations and patient overcrowding.
The hospital has struggled to meet quality measures monitored by federal officials in recent years. For example, the facility was financially penalized by Medicare in 2015 and 2016 for having too many patients who were readmitted following a procedure.