In Saint Louise Regional Hospital, Santa Clara County will be buying a hospital in need of improved computer systems, but with a dedicated, quality staff providing adequate care.

That’s the view of a special ombudsman appointed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to conduct a required assessment of the quality of care provided by the hospital during its period of protection under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.

“The general milieu of the hospital during our time spent showed administration’s significant dedication to the hospital, and the patients they serve,” concluded Jacob Nathan Rubin, the court-appointed ombudsman.

The bankruptcy judge on Dec. 19 was expected to approve the purchase of the Gilroy hospital, along with O’Connor Hospital of San Jose by the county from Verity Health System. Santa Clara County was the sole bidder, at $235 million.

The ombudsman’s report is required by law to ensure continuing acceptable patient care. The report gives a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a local hospital.

Report Highlights

A final decision has not yet been made whether the county will continue to contract for hospital and intensive care physicians with San Jose Medical Group, which is part of Verity Medical Foundation.

The hospital’s Electronic Medical Record system “remains a system-wide problem that limits the organization from performing well … despite their efforts at providing quality patient care,” the report said. St. Louise does not have a computerized physician order entry system to elicit and extract information to accurately demonstrate appropriate care to outside accreditation and monitoring organizations.

Psychiatry and neurology are lacking for inpatient cases. Rubin said that although a peer review system was changed, St. Louise “does a great job of monitoring its physicians.”

The hospital’s accreditation report revealed several plant management issues “that were of low likelihood to cause harm with corrective action.” All the findings were corrected, or at least a plan of action was deemed acceptable by the accreditation commission.

St. Louise got a C grade from hospital safety site hospitalsafetygrade.org for the fall of 2018, the spring of 2015, fall of 2015, spring of 2016, fall 2016, spring of 2017 and fall of 2017, and a D grade for the spring of 2018. The negative mark largely related to data and safety because of the “inadequate electronic medical record requirements.”

Few problems with Surgery

The hospital scored well in the categories of dangerous objects left a patient’s body, surgical wound splits open, dangerous blood clots, and cuts and tears.

Below are some other measures listed in the evaluation.

Collapsed lung data: hospital score was 0.32, best hospital score 0.11, average hospital score 0.29, and worst hospital score 0.47.

Serious breathing problem: score 11.35, best hospital score 1.71, average hospital score 8.23, and worst Hospital score 17.91.

Doctor’s order medications through a computer: score 15, best hospital score 100, average hospital score 69.80, worst Hospital score 5.

Safe administration of medication, hand-washing, communication about medications: scored well in these categories.

Communications about discharge: score 83, best hospital score 96, average hospital score 86.88, and worst hospital score 69.

Staff work together to prevent error: score 92.31, best hospital score hundred 20, average hospital score 114.54, and worst hospital score zero.

Scored well in dangerous bedsores, prevention of falls.

Track and reduce risk to patients: score 0.21, best hospital score 0.02, average hospital score 0.38, worst hospital score 1.91.

Doctors, nurses and hospital staff did well in scores for communication.

Effective leadership to prevent errors: score 110.77, best hospital score hundred 20, average hospital score 117.14, worst hospital score zero.

Enough qualified nurses: score 94.12, best hospital score 100, average hospital score 97.68, worst hospital score 29.41.

Specially trained doctors care for ICU patients: score 15, best hospital score 100, average Hospital score 49.17, worst hospital score 5.

Responsiveness of hospital staff: score 92, best hospital score 96, average hospital score 91.16, worst hospital score 82.

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