AUSTIN, TX – In what has been called a severe and disturbing patient safety lapse at Fort Collins General Hospital, a local man was recently prescribed bee sting therapy despite a clearly documented bee sting allergy.
It appears that all the proper steps were taken. The patient stated to the admitting nurse he had an allergy to bee stings and that allergy was clearly and thoroughly documented on the EMR for all providers to see. Yet somehow the patient was still administered bee sting therapy. The patient suffered moderate swelling and mild discomfort and received two doses of Benadryl.
“We take these lapses very seriously. We’re not a Press Ganey Top 100 Mid-Size Health and Human Services region of eight hospitals for nothing,” stated Rhulon Williams, CEO Fort Collins General Hospital. “We will use these incidents as an opportunity to improve. We have convened a task force of our finest nurse managers and contracted with a top-notch consulting firm to identify and repair any system errors. We want our patients and the community to rest assured that in the future no bee sting allergic will receive bee sting therapy in our hospital.”
New measures include the creation of yellow and black allergy bands. Staff will now be required to attend an annual three-hour staff-training module – uncompensated. Administrators are particularly excited about a new code “yellow and black” that will be called if any bee sting allergic patient receives bee sting therapy and a bee sting specific “time-out” will occur before any bee sting therapy session. Patient safety experts are applauding these efforts to protect the bee sting allergic population but some say Fort Collins General Hospital has a long way to go to protect the broader “polyallergic” community.
“This is all fine and dandy but what about my child’s peanut allergy?” asked Julia Smith concerned local mother. “These measures have done nothing to ensure I won’t receive epinephrine. I’m deathly allergic to the stuff. I’m certainly relieved I won’t receive bee sting therapy but that’s only one of my eleven allergies.”
When confronted with Julia’s question Mr. Williams simply smiled and responded, “Just wait until our peanut allergy task force wraps. They are putting forth some very exciting policies and initiatives.” The world will be watching Mr. Williams.