The information below comes from the statement of deficiencies compiled by health inspectors and provided to AHCJ by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It does not include the steps the hospital plans to take to fix the problem, known as a plan of correction. For that information, you should contact the hospital, your state health department or CMS. Accessing the document may require you to file a Freedom of Information Request. Information on doing so is available here.

UNITED MEDICAL CENTER 1310 SOUTHERN AVENUE SE WASHINGTON, DC 20032 May 13, 2016
VIOLATION: PATIENT RIGHTS: CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS Tag No: A0147
Based on observations and staff confirmations, it was determined that the nursing staff failed to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of patients, whose private health information was displayed and left unattended in three (3) of eight (8) observations (Patient #1, 2, and 3).


The findings include:


United Medical Center Hospital Policy #ADM 06-020, titled, " Patient Rights and Responsibilities", last revised April 2014, stipulates, " ...PROVISIONS ...A. Patient Rights Include ...11. Expect all communications and other records regarding your care, including the source of payment, to be kept confidential ...22. Personal privacy ... "


United Medical Center Hospital Policy #ADM 06-020, titled, "Data Safeguards,' last revised June 2014, stipulates, "POLICY - Data Privacy Protection. We will implement and comply with reasonable and appropriate administrative, physical, and technical safeguards to secure the privacy of protected health information against any intentional or unintentional use or disclosure in violation of these Privacy Policies and Procedures or the Privacy Rules. These safeguards will include reasonable limits to incidental uses or disclosures of protected health information made as a result of otherwise permitted or required uses or disclosures ... "


A. Patient #1 was admitted with diagnoses that included Altered Mental Status and Dementia.


On May 13, 2016 at approximately 9:05 AM, a tour was conducted on Unit 5 West, in the presence of Employee #5.


An observation revealed a 50 milliliter bag of Ceftriaxone (antibiotic) was left unattended on a mobile computer countertop on Unit 5 West, near room 5526. The bag contained Patient #1's private health information, including patient identifiers.


On May 13, 2016 at approximately 9:10 AM, a face-to-face interview was conducted with Employee #10 regarding the findings. Employee #10 apologized and acknowledged that s/he left the medication unattended.


The observation failed to provide evidence that the nursing staff ensured the patient's privacy and confidentiality. The findings were acknowledged by the Employees #6 and 10.


B. Patient #2 was admitted with diagnoses of Rectal Bleed.


On May 13, 2016 at approximately 9:07 AM, a tour was conducted on Unit 5 West, in the presence of Employee #5.


An observation revealed a report sheet left unattended on the mobile computer countertop that had Patient #2's private health information, including diagnosis and assessment.


On May 13, 2016 at approximately 9:10 AM, a face-to-face interview was conducted with Employee #10 regarding the findings. Employee #10 apologized and acknowledged that s/he left the report with the patient's private health information unattended.


The observation failed to provide evidence that the staff ensured the patient's privacy and confidentiality. The findings were acknowledged by the Employees #6 and 10.


C. Patient #3 was admitted with diagnoses that included Trouble Breathing
.

On May 13, 2016 at approximately 11:45 AM, a tour was conducted on Intensive Care Unit B, in the presence of Employee #5.


An observation revealed two intravenous antibiotic medications, a bag of Vancomycin and a bag of Azithromycin were left unattended, on an isolation cart, outside room 14. The bags contained Patient #3's private health information, including patient identifiers.


The observation failed to provide evidence that the staff ensured the patient's privacy and confidentiality. The findings were acknowledged by the Employee #5.