Statement Regarding Department of Health Consent Agreement

Rhode Island Hospital is deeply committed to the safety of our patients and the continual improvement of our health care environment and the processes our caregivers and staff follow. Because of our culture of transparency and our commitment to continuous quality and safety improvement, Rhode Island Hospital reported to the Department of Health that four events occurred in February and March of this year related to various aspects of patient identification and diagnostic imaging procedures. Each patient and family was informed of the incident and no patient had any complications.

Rhode Island Hospital invests millions of dollars every year to strengthen patient safety through staff, systems, protocols, and education and the hospital and its leadership have been recognized nationally for innovation in patient safety and quality. It’s a collective pursuit that encompasses all facets of health care, including the area of diagnostic imaging. We are committed to eliminating all such medical imaging errors and, in fact, Rhode Island Hospital performs consistently and significantly better than national averages in this area. Every single one of the 380,000 diagnostic imaging studies we perform annually is critical to that patient and their family, thus it’s of utmost importance to us.

Rhode Island Hospital immediately put a plan of corrective action in place, and in recent weeks, has dedicated thousands of staff hours and committed other resources to this matter. For example, each member of the hospital’s radiology department (685 active doctors, nurses, techs and clerical staff members) participated in one of several forums to identify and share ideas on improving the delivery of care. New education protocols have been implemented, including improved hand-off procedures between our Emergency Department staff and EMS and standardization of procedures within our breast center.

Rhode Island Hospital is committed to adhering to all the requirements established by the Department of Health to help prevent errors in the future and will continue to work closely with the Rhode Island Department of Health on this matter. Mandatory audits of processes will also be implemented to ensure that changes become permanent solutions.