Hospital fined $228,000 for violations

The Nevada State Health Division has fined Desert Springs Hospital and Medical Center $1.14 million for more than 200 violations in its mammography department, including failing to document whether its mammogram system was operating as it should prior to some patient exams in 2007, health officials announced Wednesday.

As a result of the violations, 92 patient records were missing and the patients had to undergo additional screenings, the health division said.

The records in question, which Desert Springs officials say were misplaced, would have shown whether tests had been conducted to ensure the mammogram system was operating properly before those patients underwent mammograms, said Ed Sweeten, supervisor of the Health Division’s Bureau of Health Quality and Compliance Radiological Health Section.

The section is responsible for conducting annual inspections of Nevada’s 60 to 70 radiology programs. The inspections are conducted for the state and the federal Food and Drug Administration, Sweeten said.

Sweeten said the violations stemmed from an annual inspection conducted by his department in February, although the health division was notified by Desert Springs in late January that it “had some issues” with its records.

During the inspection, inspectors documented 228 violations that fell under seven Nevada administrative codes. The violations centered on problems in quality assurance and control as well as maintenance of records. Quality assurance and quality control documentation is used to verify the mammography department checks the X-ray machine, processing agents, darkroom, image quality and chemicals on a periodic basis.

“We’re not saying they (Desert Springs) didn’t conduct the pre-tests, but they do not have the records showing proof that they did,’’ said Sweeten, a radiation physicist. “In health care, if it’s not documented you can’t say it was done. It is a violation if you don’t show proof.’’

During the inspection, and after reviewing patient records, it was determined the mammography department did not have documentation for its pre-testing of the X-ray machine between April 30 and Sept. 21, state health officials said.

One of the checks involves producing an image of a “phantom” breast • a square block that mimics a breast. This test is conducted to ensure there are no photographic issues with the X-ray such as problems with density or contrast, he said.

“If the test isn’t conducted and, let’s say there is a speck of dust in the machine, it could impact the diagnostic interpretation of a patient’s film,” Sweeten said. ”Something as small as a speck of dust can look like a micro calcification which is the beginning of cancer. That speck of dust could lead to someone having further work-up, such as a biopsy, when possibly this shouldn’t be happening.’’

After the inspection, a sampling of the patients’ films were sent to the federal agency for review. About half of the samples had issues with contrast, technique and positioning, Sweeten said.

Also, documentation that would verify daily cleaning of the darkroom and the area where mammograms are conducted had not been done “at the desired frequency.” Check lists were blank in a four-month period.

The hospital was then notified that the state would be issuing a Notice of Intent to deny renewal of the hospital’s certificate to conduct mammograms. The settlement was agreed upon, which allowed the program to continue.

Hospital officials wouldn’t say how the records ended up missing but noted in a press statement that, based on an internal investigation as well as a review by the American College of Radiology, it is believed the quality assurance checks were indeed conducted.

The statement went on to say that the hospital believed the “mammography equipment was functioning properly, and all studies were of appropriate diagnostic quality from an equipment perspective.’’

Although state officials said 92 patients had to be re-tested, the hospital arrived at a different number. It said
Sweeten said in reviewing the hospital records, the lack of records “just stopped’’ going back to April 30, 2007, which is how the health division determined the number of patients who needed re-testing.

The fine, the largest ever handed down by the section, comes to $5,000 for each of the 228 violations, Sweeten said.

Under the agreement, Desert Springs agreed to pay the state’s Health Division $228,000. The remaining portion of the fine, $912,000, will be settled over time. To do so, the hospital has agreed to provide community services such as:

• Provide free mammograms for one year to male and female patients age 40 and 50 and who require financial assistance and lack health insurance. Patients who qualify for the Women’s Health Connection are also eligible.

• Provide mammograms at no charge to patients in May “in honor of Mother’s Day and in October in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month.”

• Provide free seminars and education on the importance of annual mammography screenings and have a presence at community health fairs to increase breast cancer and mammography awareness.

• Provide a list of physicians who may accept Medicaid or offer charitable care in cases where follow-up care is needed beyond screenings.

According to the health division, Desert Springs also must outline and detail the duties of a mammographer that adheres to state and federal regulations, submit quarterly quality control and quality assurance records, and prepare and maintain a self-reporting policy that notifies the Radiological Health Section within 10 days of any violations.

Desert Springs is also subject to monitoring by the health division the upcoming year to ensure corrective actions have been implemented, officials said.

Sweeten said this is the first time a facility that provides radiology services has been slapped with such a fine.
However, he said, “it doesn’t make anyone bad.’’

“In all honesty, Desert Springs has an excellent program,’’ he said. “There was a lapse there and the staff has changed.’’

Contact reporter Annette Wells at awells@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.

ad-high_impact_4
News
1 dead after shooting near Sahara and the Strip in Las Vegas
Lt. Ray Spencer briefs the news media on a shooting at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard South that left one dead. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Family remembers deceased mother
Family members of Adriann Gallegos remember her. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
2 in custody after chase
Two people were in custody after a chase involving Nevada Highway Patrol and Nye County Sheriff"s office deputies ended in southwest Las Vegas. Las Vegas police blocked off Rainbow Boulevard north of Tropicana Avenue around 1 a.m. Wednesday. Law enforcement personnel prepared to tow a black sedan as part of their investigation. It's not certain what precipitated the chase or where and when it started. Check back for updates.
Police Officer's Vehicle Was Taken During Shooting
Video from body worn camera footage released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Wednesday shows an officer realizing his police vehicle has been taken during the chaos of the Route 91 shooting. It was later recovered at Sunrise hospital with the keys in the ignition and nothing removed. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
See Kitty Hawk’s flying car cruise over Lake Las Vegas
Kitty Hawk takes their flying car for a ride in the company’s hidden test facility in Lake Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Watch Las Vegas police wild pursuit through busy Las Vegas streets
An intense chase near Downtown Las Vegas ends after gunfire is exchanged as the suspect flees on busy streets and ends up near an elementary school. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Man shot strolling through park
A man was hospitalized early Tuesday morning after being shot while walking in a central Las Vegas park. Las Vegas police say the man and a woman were in Molasky Park just after midnight when the man was shot. The pair ran to a nearby supermarket where a security guard called for help. The man was hospitalized and as of 3 a.m. was in stable condition. Police have yet to identify the shooter and no suspects are in custody.
Police investigating shooting at east valley apartment complex
No one was injured late Monday night after someone fired shots at a vehicle at an east valley apartment complex. Police responded just before midnight to the Hamptons Apartments, 3070 S. Nellis Blvd. Someone fired shots at a vehicle that was leaving the complex, and struck the vehicle. Another bullet struck a nearby apartment building. The shooter or shooters remain at-large.
Suspect fires at Las Vegas police before officers shoot, end wild pursuit
An intense chase near Downtown Las Vegas ends after gunfire is exchanged as the suspect flees on busy streets and ends up near an elementary school. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Hundreds Attend Slides, Rides and Rock and Roll in North Las Vegas
Hundreds attended the inaugural slides, rides and rock and roll event in North Las Vegas Saturday. The event featured a car show, water slide park and live music. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
It's All Rainbows At The Center's New Cafe
The Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada (The Center) introduced its new coffeeshop, Little Rainbow Cafe, in June. Rainbows are everywhere, even in the lattes and toast, and employees wear t-shirts with the quote "Be a rainbow in someone's cloud." Owner Ben Sabouri said the concept is "built around the idea of, you know, be kind and treat everybody the same." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a Rainbow Latte at the The Center's Little Rainbow Cafe
The Center, a community center for the LGBTQ community of Southern Nevada, has a new cafe. Little Rainbow Cafe serves up a pride-inspired signature "Rainbow Latte." (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed trying to cross Sahara
A pedestrian was killed Friday trying to cross Sahara Avenue near Maryland Parkway about 5 a.m. A sedan struck the pedestrian while the person was outside the crosswalk between Maryland Parkway and Pardee Place, according to Las Vegas police. Police also said the driver of the sedan remained at the site of the crash. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene. This is the 75th fatal crash that Las Vegas police have investigated in 2018.
Man shot multiple times
Las Vegas police are investigating after a man was shot multiple times early Friday morning. The shooting was called in about 3:20 a.m. at the Harbor Island Apartments, 370 E. Harmon Ave., near Koval Lane. The man was hospitalized and is expected to survive, but police are still searching for the shooter.
Former Military Police Corps Officer Celebrates 100th Birthday
Summerlin resident Gene Stephens, who served as a military policeman in WWII and escorted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower and President Roosevelt during the war, turned 100 on July 13, 2018. He credits his longevity to living a normal life, exercising regularly and eating three square meals a day. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Motorcyclist suffers serious injuries
A motorcycle rider was seriously injured Tuesday night after a crash on Charleston Boulevard. The crash was reported just before 10 p.m. near Durango Drive, according to Las Vegas police. The motorcyclist was hospitalized with unknown injuries but is expected to survive. Las Vegas police are investigating the cause of the accident.
CCSD Superintendent Jesus Jara Has Lunch With Students
New Clark County School District superintendent Jesus Jara continued his listening tour by having lunch with students at Red Rock Elementary School as part of the district's summer lunch program. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, children under the age of 18 can find a free lunch at 104 different locations across the valley through the summer months. Jara highlighted the free program and the importance of eating healthy during his visit. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Timeline Leading Up to Scott Dozier's Execution
Scott Dozier is set to be executed by lethal injection the night of July 11 at Ely State Prison. Dozier was convicted of the April 2002 killing of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller and was given the death penalty in Oct. 2007. In 2016 Dozier asked in a letter to District Judge Jennifer Togliatti requesting that he “be put to death.” A three-drug cocktail of midazolam, a sedative; the painkiller fentanyl; and cisatracurium, a paralytic, is expected to end his life. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Program Helps Mothers Battling Addiction
Jennifer Stanert has battled drug addiction on and off for the last 21 years. It caused her to lose custody of one of her children, Alec, after she gave birth while high. A new program at Dignity Health St. Rose Dominican Hospitals aims to connect mothers like Stanert with community resources and provide case management services while still pregnant to get connected to lactation and parenting classes, group peer support and education on neonatal abstinence syndrome. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Felon caught with guns in Mandalay Bay room 3 years before Las Vegas shooting
A felon was caught with guns in a Mandalay Bay hotel room three years before the October 1st mass shooting. Six weapons were found inside Kye Aaron Dunbar’s 24th floor room in November 2014. Four were semi-automatic. One was a scoped rifle pointing toward the Strip, according to court documents. Dunbar was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison for unlawful possession. The case just came to light in a lawsuit accusing Mandalay Bay of negligence in connection with the Oct. 1st shooting.
Illegal fireworks in the Las Vegas area garner complaints
Clark County received nearly 25,000 complaints over the Independence Day holiday on a new illegal fireworks site. Reports from the site led to at least 10 illegal fireworks busts across the valley overnight. As of Thursday morning, the county is still compiling the total number of citations issued.
House fire displaces 2 people
Two people were displaced after a house fire early Thursday morning. The fire, at 963 Temple Drive in east Las Vegas, was reported just after midnight, according to a battalion chief from the Clark County Fire Department. Crews from the North Las Vegas and Las Vegas fire departments also were called in to help. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
"Red White and Boom" July 4 Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Full video of the Fourth of July "Red White and Boom" fireworks show at the Stratosphere as seen from the 8th floor Elation Pool. (Madelyn Reese/ Las Vegas Review-Journal)
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite
July 4th fireworks at the Eureka Casino Resort in Mesquite. (7-04-18) (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Crowds Enjoy Fireworks at the Stratosphere
Revelers enjoyed watching fireworks displays from the Stratosphere's 8th floor Elation pool on July 4. (Madelyn Reese/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pedestrian killed in Henderson
A pedestrian trying to cross St. Rose Parkway at Bermuda was hit by a vehicle on Tuesday night and later died. The crash was reported around 11:30 p.m. Las Vegas police responded initially, but handed over the investigation to Henderson police once it was determined the accident happened in their jurisdiction. Las Vegas police did respond to a report of a pedestrian being hit by a vehicle on the Strip. The person, who was hit by a BMW near Fashion Show mall, suffered serious but not life-threatening injuries.
USPS owes $3.5 million for using Vegas Statue of Liberty on stamp
The United States Postal Service has been ordered to pay $3.5 million to a sculptor after using the Las Vegas replica of the Statue of Liberty in a stamp. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
What to expect at Station Casinos' Fourth of July celebration
Station Casinos' is hosting its annual 4th of July celebration with Fireworks by Grucci. Fireworks scheduled to go off on Wednesday, July 4 around 9 p.m. at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Red Rock Resort, Fiesta Rancho and Texas Station. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Officer Brent Horlacher shoots at Jessie Murillo
Las Vegas police video of an officer-involved shooting on June 29, 2018. Officer Brent Horlacher, 28, fired a single shot at suspect Jessie Murillo. Murillo was not injured. The radio audio is of the officer who fired the gun and the body camera video is from a different officer. Radio audio excerpts are added to the video and are not the precise times the audio was spoken.
Pawn Stars' Richard Harrison honored at memorial service
A memorial service was conducted for Richard "Old Man" Harrison at Palm Mortuary in Las Vegas on Sunday, July 1, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like