Stamford Hospital fined for running blood center without certification

Stamford (Conn.) Hospital was fined $55,000 for allowing a phlebotomist to draw blood at a clinic that lacked appropriate certification, according to the Stamford Advocate.

Here are five things to know:

1. A Connecticut Department of Public Health inspection revealed in late January that a phlebotomist contracting with Boston Heart Diagnostics drew blood from patients before Stamford Hospital received necessary written certification to run its Feel Well Health Center in Southington, Conn. Multiple patients were treated at the center during the nearly four months the violations occurred, state officials allege.

2. According to a Sept. 7 consent order signed by the department of health and Stamford Hospital, the phlebotomist was paid by Boston Heart to collect and send specimens to the Framingham, Mass.-based diagnostic center. The violations occurred from Oct. 4, 2017, to Jan. 26, 2018, according to the department, as cited by the Stamford Advocate.

3. Stamford Hospital violated state law by running the blood collection center without having or displaying a state blood collection facility certificate, which has a gold seal of approval, according to the consent order. The center also did not have or display emergency procedures for patients, or have a supervisor visit the center monthly, according to the order. In addition, the order said the blood collection area had ripped chair arms and centrifuges that weren't calibrated properly.

4. Ruth Cardiello, RN, vice president of enterprise risk management and corporate compliance officer at Stamford Health, told the Stamford Advocate, "The staff members who were involved in the opening of the [Southington] draw station did so without any intention of violating legal requirements."

5. Stamford Hospital reported the violations to the department of health and "accepts full responsibility for these actions," Ms. Cardiello said. "We cooperated in every way possible with the department to rectify the situation and are complying with any resulting direction from the state. We have already reviewed all existing blood draw stations and instituted even more stringent policies for the review of new ones by our compliance and executive teams to ensure this isolated occurrence is not repeated. This unfortunate event in no way impacted the quality of care we provide our patients at Stamford Health."

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