The clinic where Joan Rivers died is trying to make changes so it won’t happen again.
USA Today is reporting that Yorkville Endoscopy Clinic in New York has submitted a plan to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to fix deficiencies in the way they treat patients. That plan has been accepted.
An investigative plan following Rivers’ death found that the clinic had made several errors, among them failure to determine deteriorating vital signs and failure to address that issue in a timely fashion. Rivers died at the age of 81. The medical examiner determined that Rivers suffered brain damage due to inappropriate oxygen flow, which happened during an endoscopy procedure she was undergoing just days before.
The federal report named Rivers’ death a therapeutic complication, and no official blame was named in the report.
Among the changes proposed and accepted are stricter procedures as to who can gain access to operating rooms, and that anesthesiologists must check patient’s vital signs at least every five minutes if the patient has been given Propofol, the drug implicated in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.
Melissa Rivers, Joan Rivers’ daughter, expressed “outraged by the misconduct and mismanagement” when the November report was released. To this point, she has not filed any legal actions against the clinic.
Seattle PI is reporting, however, that Melissa Rivers has hired a prominent, but unnamed, malpractice attorney to investigate the situation.
In the meantime, the clinic can expect an unplanned visit from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to verify that the changes outlined in this plan are implemented. If so, the clinic will not lose their Medicare accreditation. This step must be completed before January 7.
Further changes that will be implemented will be a review of the code blue policy update in the clinic, dictating how the clinic handles a patient who is experiencing a sudden, life-threatening episode. This drill be performed four times a year. The clinic must also have a procedure room log which lists physicians that have worked in the room. The front office must have a visitor’s log that state employees must log into and out of when visiting, and also show their badges and have the badges acknowledged.
The clinic, after they had presented the plan, felt confident that plan submitted to both the state and federal accrediting agencies would addressed all raised issues, that all physicians named in the original report are no longer affiliated with the clinic.
[Image courtesy of the Huffington Post]