Healthcare Workers File Complaint Against Riverside Hospital for Patient Care Violations

[June 23, 2015] RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Healthcare workers filed a complaint today with state officials against a Riverside hospital for violating patient care standards, including maggots being found in cafeteria food and a patient’s mouth, and overcrowded conditions in the emergency department.

“Management at Parkview Community Hospital is undermining the facility to the point where it’s a struggle to safely care for patients,” said Willie Conley, a respiratory therapist at Parkview Community Hospital. “We have expressed a number of concerns and we believe the public should understand what’s going on behind the hospital’s doors so corrective action can quickly be taken.”

The complaint submitted to the California Department of Public Health documented several violations:

  • In February 2015, an employee reported finding more than 50 maggots in a patient’s mouth and nose, and in a separate incident in September 2014, a nurse reported maggots floating in the lentil soup being served in the hospital cafeteria;
  • The hospital regularly treats emergency department patients in the hallway because of overcrowding but fails to sanitize these areas. It has continued this practice despite orders to desist from the State of California; and
  • The hospital transports patients to an outside MRI facility using an uncertified vehicle that is lacking the appropriate medical equipment. If a patient has serious complications while being transported, employees are instructed to call 911.

Earlier violations and substandard patient care at Parkview Community Hospital include:

  • In 2014, the parents of a three-year-old boy from Riverside County filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Parkview Hospital after their son died from a basic tonsillectomy performed at the facility;
  • Since 2010, the hospital reported 16 patients developed bed sores while in the facility;   Since 2013, the hospital reported leaving a medical instrument/object in a patient after performing surgery three separate times;
  • In 2009, the State of California fined Parkview $50,000 after a doctor removed the wrong kidney from a patient;
  • In 2015, Riverside County reported that Parkview Hospital had the slowest response time in the county treating patients who arrived by ambulance, forcing patients to wait 75 minutes on average from the time the ambulance arrived at the hospital;
  • In recent years, Parkview received “C” and “D” scores in a Hospital Safety Score program conducted by top patient safety experts; and
  • In a 2012 Consumer Reports ranking of hospital safety in the United States, Parkview ranked near the bottom of about 200 California hospitals, scoring 33 out of 100; 25 was the lowest score in California and only 13 hospitals ranked lower than Parkview.

SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), a statewide union of healthcare workers, is in a labor dispute with Parkview Community Hospital. More than 500 Parkview Community Hospital workers voted in March 2014 to join SEIU-UHW; however, management at the hospital has refused to recognize the union, and the union has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against the hospital. Workers would like to establish a labor-management committee, which would address workplace safety and patient care issues, but that is impossible until management recognizes the union.

Founded in 1958, Parkview Community Hospital is a non-profit facility with 193 beds.

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