CMS cites 2nd Minnesota hospital for violating patient rights

CMS cited the University of Minnesota Medical Center at Fairview Riverside Hospital in Minneapolis for violating a patient's rights who went to the emergency department for mental health concerns — the second Fairview hospital to be cited this month for this violation, according to federal records obtained by KMSP.

Six things to know:

1. A CMS investigation this month also revealed Edina, Minn.-based Fairview Southdale Hospital violated patients' privacy rights by videotaping them without their knowledge during psychiatric evaluations.

2. At Fairview Riverside, staff took the ED patient to an exam room and asked her to put on rust-colored scrubs. The patient, whose medical history includes rape, anxiety, depression, drug use and post-traumatic stress, refused to change into the scrubs.  

3. When the patient refused to change, staff members wrestled the patient to the floor, stripped her clothes off and forced her into the scrubs, and gave her a shot to sedate her. The hospital captured the incident on video.

4. After investigating Fairview Riverside's handling of this incident, CMS cited the hospital for violating the patient's rights. The investigation also found staff used a "show of force" to coerce two other patients to change into so-called "behavioral scrubs" when they initially declined.

5. The agency found the hospital had required ED patients with mental health issues to wear rust-colored scrubs to distinguish them from other patients. Although Fairview said using identifiable scrubs can help identify patients who pose a safety risk to themselves or others, it is now making the use of them voluntary.

6. Fairview continues to use cameras in emergency exam rooms to monitor patients who may harm themselves or others, but now has signs posted and verbally informs patients of the cameras. Patients also must consent to being recorded.

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