COLUMBIA — About 120 University Hospital and Clinics employees put in overtime and unpaid hours last weekend cleaning up facilities in an effort to address "broad areas" of concern cited by federal health inspectors after a visit in early November.
Hospital spokeswoman Jo Ann Wait said Monday the cleanup came in response to a letter that MU Health Care received in early November from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which warned that findings from its last visit would prompt a return visit "for a full review of all of our facilities."
Wait said inspectors found "some issues" related to the physical plant and "housekeeping."
She cited examples of dusty corners, dirty ceiling tiles and cracks in the walls. She noted that University Hospital was built in 1956 and is showing signs of age.
Wait said the cleanup included operating rooms, examination rooms and other patient and nonpatient areas.
"We just did a complete spruce-up of our entire physical plant,” she said.
"Yes, we're getting ready for another survey team, but we don't know when they're coming," she added. "They don't tell you when they're coming."
MU Health Care declined to release the report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "Until (the issues) are resolved, it is CMS' report to release," Wait said.
The Missourian has filed a request under the federal Freedom of Information Act seeking the full report from the centers.
Meanwhile, the Joint Commission, a private, nonprofit health-care accreditation organization, released in a Nov. 10 report statistics that show University Hospital and Clinics met or exceeded national standards in almost all categories. Still, the report, which is based on statistics collected from March 2009 to April 2010, showed they lag behind national averages in some areas:
- 73 percent of patients received the appropriate medication for colon and large intestine surgery, versus the national average of 89 percent.
- 82 percent of adult pneumonia patients were given antibiotics within six hours of arriving at the hospital, versus the national average of 95 percent.
- 87 percent of patients had their antibiotic use discontinued within 24 hours after surgery, versus the national average of 94 percent. Giving antibiotics after 24 hours is not considered helpful, according to the report.
Wait said the hospital monitors these statistics closely and has teams addressing the issues they raise.
In particular, she said, the implementation of electronic medical records will help reduce the time it takes for patients to get prescriptions and limit errors that can occur along the way.