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UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER OF EL PASO 4815 ALAMEDA AVE EL PASO, TX 79905 June 21, 2017
VIOLATION: RECIPIENT HOSPITAL RESPONSIBILITIES Tag No: A2411
**NOTE- TERMS IN BRACKETS HAVE BEEN EDITED TO PROTECT CONFIDENTIALITY**

Based on a review of documentation and interviews with staff, the facility failed to accept an appropriate transfer of an individual who required the specialized capabilities of the facility although it had the capacity and capability to treat the individual's emergency medical condition.


Findings were:


Shortly after midnight on 5-24-17, this facility received a request of a patient transfer from a Hospital N . The patient was a [AGE] year old male who presented at Hospital N after being "shot in the eye" during an altercation. Despite having an ophthalmologist on call and resources to care for the patient, this facility failed to accept the transfer.


A review of the facility's Emergency Department physician on-call schedule for May 2017 revealed physician coverage in the emergency department at all times. The schedule indicated that a physician was on call for ophthalmology services on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, when the transfer request was made. A review of the credentialing file for the physician-on-call for ophthalmology revealed current licensure, privileges and appointment. His privileges included (but were not limited to) "Eye injury (penetrating), repair" and "Globe trauma surgery."

In an interview with the Director of Trauma Program on 6-20-17, she was asked if she was aware of the transfer request denial of a patient with eye trauma. She stated that she had been made aware of the transfer request denial on 5-31-17 and had spoken with the physician-on-call within a couple of days of the incident. She stated that she had asked the physician-on-call why he would deny acceptance of a patient with an eye trauma. The physician-on-call told her thatt he thought the service he worked for did not accept uninsured/unfunded patients.


In an interview with the Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine on 6-21-17, he was asked if he was aware of the transfer request denial of a patient with eye trauma.He stated that proper trauma protocol was not followed and that a misunderstanding occurred, resulting in refusal to accept the transfer of the patient.


Further, he stated that the call from Hospital N was received in the early hours of 5-24-17. He stated that, when the facility receives a request for a trauma transfer, the Administrator on Duty (AOD) takes the call, notes the information and notifies the trauma team. He stated that a trauma surgeon is available in the building at all times. He stated that the trauma surgeon hears the information, speaks to the ER doctor at the sending facility, and accepts the transfer. The necessary specialist is then contacted by the trauma surgeon and notified that they have a transfer on the way to the facility. He stated that the only time they cannot accept trauma transfers is if the patient has extensive burns or needs immediate hyperbaric treatment. He stated that, instead of forwarding the call to the trauma team, the AOD notified the ophthalmologist directly and that the ophthalmologist was allegedly unaware that the eye injury was a trauma, and refused to accept the patient.


Although the facility had the capacity and capabilities of providing specialized ophthalmology services to patient #21, the facility failed to accept the transfer of the individual.