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.

NORTHLAKE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SYSTEM 23515 HIGHWAY 190 MANDEVILLE, LA 70448 Aug. 27, 2019
VIOLATION: INFECTION CONTROL OFFICER RESPONSIBILITIES Tag No: A0749
Based on record reviews and interviews, the hospital failed to develop a system for prevention and control of infections and communicable diseases as evidenced by failing to clean all areas, including air conditioner ducts and vents, in buildings of the hospital where bats were sighted. This deficient practice presented a risk of patients and staff being exposed to histoplasmosis from bat guano.
Findings:

Review of the hospital Pest Control policy #: EC-1058, Effective: 06/21/19. Revised: 07/25/19 revealed, in part:
Policy: The policy of Northlake Behavioral Health System (NBHS) is to manage pests according to established procedures. The presence of pests can be offensive, present infection hazards, contaminate foodstuffs, damage materials, building components and structures and also be a nuisance.
Appendix 1 - List and Description of Common Pests:
Bats: If a bat is flying around an interior space, remain calm, notify the Facility Supervisor and/or maintenance. If possible remove all people from the area. Always wear gloves when handling bat excrement (guano) and place in a biohazard bag. Remove patients from area where bats are found until cleared.

In an interview on 08/26/19 at 10:12 a.m. with SF1Interim CEO, she said the hospital had confirmed bat sightings on Rampart Unit in June 2019 in an air vent and in other areas of the unit. She said there was a reported bat sighting in the Willow Unit day room ceiling on 08/12/19.

In an interview on 08/27/19 at 2:46 p.m. with SF4Director of Plant Operations, he said the entire Rampart Unit was cleaned and attic was vacuumed after the June 2019 bat infestation. SF4Director of Plant Operations said the air conditioner ducts and vents were not checked for bat guano and cleaned on Rampart Unit and Willow Unit after the bat sightings.