[May 16, 2017] POMONA, Calif.– Patient infections continue to plague Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, according to new figures showing the facility is far worse than forecasted, and come despite claims by hospital executives that the issue is being addressed.
“It’s frustrating to see workers’ concerns about patient care dismissed by management when patient infections continue to go up,” said State Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino). “There’s clearly a problem here and, despite their assurances, hospital executives seem ill-equipped to stop it.”
From July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, Pomona Valley Hospital reported 108 cases of patients acquiring Clostridium difficile (C. diff.), a highly contagious infection that causes severe diarrhea and is fatal in 6.5 percent of patients, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The 108 cases represent 50 percent more than forecasted for Pomona Valley Hospital based on patient loads. The hospital reported 94 C.diff. infections in 2015, and 87 cases in 2014.
The head of nursing and patient services at Pomona Valley Hospital said in a newspaper column from December 2016 that the facility is using a special cleaning agent and ultraviolet light to reduce infections. It’s unclear when those methods began and whether they had an effect.
Last month, Pomona Valley Hospital workers said in a complaint filed with the California Department of Public Health that a systemic lack of training, staffing and quality control was contributing to recurring unsanitary conditions in infants’ cribs, patient rooms and other areas of the hospital.
Workers voted in January 2016 to gain a stronger voice to improve patient care and working conditions by joining SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW). However, the hospital has repeatedly refused to recognize their vote and is instead wasting precious hospital resources on frivolous legal challenges, workers say. More than 1,100 Pomona Valley Hospital employees are affected by the delay.