Crain’s Health Pulse
June 22, 2016
NYC Health + Hospitals will soon announce that it is turning over day-to-day operations of the lab at Coney Island Hospital to Northwell Health, after failing recent state health department inspections.
Northwell has already begun the process of taking over the laboratory and management informed Coney Island Hospital workers of the plan yesterday, an H+H spokeswoman said.
The lab's problems came to light in the summer of 2013, when an 84-year-old patient died after receiving the wrong blood type in a transfusion, the New York Daily News reported at the time. Coney Island Hospital had to send blood samples off-site for testing at Kings County Hospital following the incident, but the lab continued to operate, according to H+H. While the hospital enacted a plan to improve its laboratory operations and protect patients, its efforts came up short.
“We’re taking this pretty seriously,” the spokeswoman for H+H said. “It’s been some time and we need to do something to get this fixed quickly and permanently.”
She said there have been no incidents of patient harm related to the lab since 2013, but the hospital has come under scrutiny for other problems, including the alleged misdiagnosis of a Brooklyn woman who died from meningitis in January. Leadership at the hospital was recently overhauled.
The move to enlist Northwell to run the lab aligns with a laboratory partnership already in the works between NYC Health + Hospitals and Northwell Health. The institutions joined forces three years ago to build a joint lab in Queens to handle specimens from both systems. Called the Clinical Laboratory New York, it's slated to open by the end of 2018. Northwell is already conducting some lab tests for H+H through the deal.
“Over the past month, the leadership of Northwell Health Laboratories has been providing onsite assistance to Coney Island Hospital, as it works to address laboratory-service needs in blood banking and transfusion medicine,” said a Northwell spokesman. “We are now negotiating a management agreement with Health + Hospitals that will further strengthen our relationship, specifically as it relates to both the blood bank, transfusion medicine and general laboratory operations at Coney Island Hospital.”
The changes will not result in any loss of jobs at Coney Island Hospital, according to H+H.