LEX 18 On Special Assignment

Aug 28, 2012 5:33 PM

LEX 18 On Special Assignment: Report Filed About State Investigation At Morehead Hospital

It's a strange incident that was investigated by the state at St. Claire Medical Center in Morehead. LEX 18 went On Special Assignment details on the case that has raised plenty of eyebrows.

LEX 18 obtained a discrepancy report from the Department of Health and Human Services detailing events that happened at the hospital back in June. It involves a woman who was allowed direct access to patients though she never should have even been near them.

The report details what happened on June 22, 23 and 24 at the hospital. A woman who had applied to be a volunteer but had not finished orientation came into the hospital and worked in patient areas, even directly with patients at times.

It started on June 22, when the woman arrived at the emergency department first claiming to be "job-shadowing." She was was given scrubs with no questions asked.

For the next two days. that same woman helped a nurse check vital signs and take a patient's blood pressure, now claiming she was being paid by a college.

So how did this happen? According to interviews with investigators, a housekeeper says the woman came in the hospital through unlocked doors.

At one point, the housekeeper says she remembers saying, "wouldn't it be funny if she's not from college?" The housekeeper says the physicians assistant then said, "it would be like writing a paper on how easy it is to perform patient care without qualifications."

On the 24th, a red flag was raised, when, according to interviews, the woman asked for scrubs for a "friend" who was also there to volunteer. The woman was escorted off the property.

A few days later, the investigation began, and the findings were that the hospital, by failing to make sure the woman was indeed a volunteer or job shadowing, placed patients at risk for injury, harm, impairment or death.

The hospital released a statement saying they, "They did have an unannounced female enter the hospital as a volunteer. She had in weeks prior applied to be a volunteer and had successfully gone through a background check but had not completed orientation nor was scheduled."

At this point, it's not clear who this woman is. Her identity has not been released.

The hospital says they've implemented all changes requested by the state. Volunteers are not allowed direct patient contact, and they must wear a badge at all times.


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