In the interest of patient safety and quality of care, the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) issued a Consent Order to Care New England (CNE) today providing detailed instructions on how Memorial Hospital will function until decisions are made on the applications that CNE has submitted to RIDOH regarding the Hospital.
The applications before RIDOH are an application to close Memorial's emergency department and an application to transfer the primary care services currently provided under Memorial Hospital's license to the licenses of other CNE hospitals (which would allow these primary care services to be maintained in Pawtucket).
"Ensuring that safe, quality care is provided to every person who walks through the doors of any healthcare facility in Rhode Island is one of the most important functions of the Rhode Island Department of Health," said Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. "Even when someone goes into the hospital for a routine procedure, the unexpected can happen. As we continue to evaluate the applications submitted by Care New England, we are issuing these directions to safeguard patients against any injury or harm that could result from the hospital's current situation."
The directives in the Consent Order only apply to the period beginning on December 1, 2017 and ending on the date when RIDOH issues its decisions on CNE's applications. This Consent Order should not be read as an indication of the future of Memorial Hospital following the issuance of RIDOH's decisions.
The Consent Order stipulates that between December 1, 2017 and the date when RIDOH issues its decisions on CNE's applications:
• EMS services will no longer transport patients to Memorial Hospital • No new patients will be admitted at Memorial Hospital, and • No surgeries will be performed.
RIDOH has determined that Memorial Hospital does not currently have the staffing levels necessary to safely administer care in these areas. Memorial Hospital's contract with the group that provides their anesthesia services is ending on November 30, 2017. Memorial Hospital does not currently have a functional Intensive Care Unit. The hospital also does not have any on-site gastrointestinal physicians or orthopedists, among other specialties.
Memorial Hospital will maintain respiratory therapy, radiology, Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, laboratory, and pharmacy services. The hospital must also maintain the appropriate staffing levels required to support these services.