Baylor St. Luke's pledges reforms after medical error leads to patient death

A CMS inspection revealed staff at Houston-based Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center made more than 100 mistakes in labeling blood during a four-month period, according to the Houston Chronicle.

The federal agency's inspection report was released Feb. 26. The inspection was prompted by the December death of a 73-year-old patient who had repeated heart attacks after receiving the wrong blood type at the hospital.

Also on Feb. 26, the hospital released a detailed plan of correction it has already started to implement. Correction efforts included revisions of relevant policies; review of documentation processes in affected areas of the hospital; implementation of an audit process; and educational sessions for physicians and staff.

In a letter posted to the hospital's website Feb. 26, St. Luke's CEO Doug Lawson, PhD, said the government's findings were "deeply disappointing."

He also said he expects government inspectors to find more issues when they come back to the hospital for a complete review in the coming weeks.

"It is our responsibility to learn from these mistakes, and we take this responsibility very seriously," Dr. Lawson wrote. "An incident like this should never happen."

CMS cut off funding for heart transplants at St. Luke's last year after a Houston Chronicle and ProPublica investigation found an outsized number of patient deaths and unusual surgical complications after the procedure in recent years.

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