Hospital Watchdog is a nonprofit patient advocacy organisation in the US that champions safe hospital care for patients. They are a diverse group that includes nurses, physicians, pharmacists, healthcare experts, attorneys and members of the public. Some of them have experienced or witnessed medical errors that led to an extremely serious or tragic outcome. They are committed to improving unsafe conditions in hospitals.
In February 2019, Hospital Watchdog conducted an in-depth interview with Ms. Dena Royal, a former paramedic, and respiratory therapist. Dena’s mother, Martha Wright, bled to death following a colonoscopy and a series of tragic nursing mistakes at Cass Regional Medical Center in Harrisonville Missouri.
Dena’s vigilance and persistence as a whistleblower led to an investigation by The Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Based on interviews and a review of hospital records, CMS found specific events contributing to her mother’s death and issued findings in a Summary Statement of Deficiencies.
Among the key problems, Martha had not been thoroughly assessed when changes in her condition occurred. In one instance, at 10:15pm, (14 hours after the procedure), the Registered Nurse failed to perform a thorough assessment, that included vital signs and notifying the doctor. The CMS report also showed how after Martha’s death the hospital tried to cover up what happened.