Former Sparrow Carson executive claims she was fired for reporting substandard medical care

Carson City, Mich.-based Sparrow Carson Hospital officials announced the departure of the hospital's Chief Nursing Officer and COO Barb McQuillan, BSN, RN, in March, but declined to say why. In a whistle-blower lawsuit filed April 25, Ms. McQuillan claims she was fired for reporting quality of care issues at the hospital, according to the Lansing State Journal.

In her lawsuit, Ms. McQuillan alleges she was fired after reporting "substandard medical care and treatment." The problems she reported related to an obstetrician who was permitted to continue performing surgeries at the hospital despite negative incidents documented by hospital employees in 2017, according to the lawsuit.

Ms. McQuillan's departure from Sparrow Carson in March came less than a month after hospital CEO Matthew Thompson left his post.

The executive departures came amid investigations into the hospital's infection control issues. CMS sent Sparrow Carson a Medicare contract termination notice Feb. 6, after a federal investigation revealed the hospital was out of compliance with infection control standards.

Ms. McQuillan, whose lawsuit makes no mention of the infection control issues, is at least the second former hospital employee to sue Sparrow Carson this year, according to the report. Nurse anesthetist Jonnie Vanderhoef, MSN, CRNA, who was fired after reporting concerns about a physician regarding high infection rates, filed suit against the hospital in February. Mr. Vanderhoef's lawsuit claims Ms. McQuillan was one of several hospital leaders involved in his firing.

Ms. McQuillan's lawsuit, which is pending in Ingham County Circuit Court, seeks damages exceeding $100,000.

More articles on quality and infection control:

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How Midland Memorial Hospital is improving patient handoffs to curb medical errors

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