CMS put Allina hospital in 'immediate jeopardy' for drug error during nurses' strike

During a six-week-long nurses' strike at Minneapolis-based Allina Health, a replacement nurse working at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis was involved in a medication error that caused CMS to place the hospital in "immediate jeopardy" status.


According to the Star Tribune, the error occurred Sept. 17 when a replacement nurse administered adrenaline to an asthmatic patient in the emergency room through an IV instead of into the patient's muscle. The error sent the patient to the intensive care unit for three days.

The strike ran from Sept. 5 to Oct. 16.

Abbott Northwestern self-reported the drug error and CMS placed the hospital in "immediate jeopardy" status on Oct. 3. Since then, the agency has accepted the hospital's plan of correction. Timothy Sielaff, MD, PhD, Allina's CMO, told the Star Tribune the medication error was caused by a communication breakdown and was not the fault of the replacement nurse.

According to the Star Tribune, the correction plan involves adding a nurse observer when needed and retraining emergency room staff on repeating back verbal orders.

In a statement to Becker's, a hospital spokesperson said, "We are confident that with the improvements now in place, the risk of another error like this has been addressed. Our focus continues to be on providing the high-quality care we are known for to our patients and communities."

The statement also reads, "Patient safety is our top priority. We regret that this error occurred and are thankful the patient suffered no permanent harm as a result."

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