Phoebe takes corrective measures following surgery mistakes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Phoebe takes corrective measures following surgery mistakes

Surgeons at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital perform operations everyday. (Source: WALB) Surgeons at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital perform operations everyday. (Source: WALB)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services demanded a corrective plan from the hospital. (Source: WALB) The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services demanded a corrective plan from the hospital. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Surgeons at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital perform operations everyday.

However, recent mistakes by two surgeons prompted the hospital to report them to a federal agency.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services demanded a corrective plan from the hospital. 

The report submitted by Phoebe to the CMS details three incidents where surgeons operated on a patient's body part without proper consent. 

During one operation the surgeon, was supposed to reconstruct or remove the patient's right hip but instead operated on the left. 

In a letter to that doctor, the president of the hospital medical staff said informed consent before the operation could easily have prevented the error. 

It later said the doctor was quoted saying "it did not matter to me which hip was replaced."

This was not the first incident according to the letter for this doctor. The doctor had an additional wrong-site surgery incident in 2010. 

If a similar incident happens again, the doctor will lose medical staff privileges. 

The president and CEO of Phoebe Putney Health System, Joel Wernick, released a statement saying in part: 

"Phoebe and its independent medical staff have cooperated fully with the CMS protocol. We responded with strong and immediate action and have taken this opportunity to review and modify our procedural safety protocol where needed."

In its correction plan, the hospital showed that staff members attended a culture of safety presentation including a "stop the line" process where anyone must ask for the procedure to stop if there is something unclear or a problem where the patients safety is at risk. 

The hospital suspended one of the two responsible surgeons.

Moving forward the plan of correction says for the next six months the hospital will randomly select 50 patients to make sure hospital staff members complied with their informed consent. 

In Phoebe's plan of correction, it says that if this happens again, the surgeon will be suspended and the operating team will be put on administrative leave until an immediate review is completed. 

CMS was back at the hospital Tuesday. 

The president of Phoebe Putney Health system said the hospital is in full compliance.

Full statement from the president and CEO:

“We routinely participate with survey agencies such as DNV-GL, the Department of Community Health and CMS. When incidents occur that have the potential to impact quality or safety, we rightfully report them as a means to apply corrective measures to prevent future incidents. Such an event did occur recently and was appropriately reported, resulting in a request from CMS for a corrective action plan and follow-up survey. As a matter of state and federal law, we are not at liberty to discuss instances where a physician’s professional practices are under review. Phoebe and its independent medical staff have cooperated fully with the CMS protocol.  We responded with strong and immediate action and have taken this opportunity to review and modify our procedural safety protocol where needed.  The survey took place yesterday and we are pleased to announce we are in full compliance.”

CMS report to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital:

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