The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. said it is providing the best quality healthcare in the CNMI—despite recent criticism raised by members of the public.
Letters to the Editor sent to Saipan Tribune by Caroline H. Aldan complained of “quantity horrible care” at the CNMI’s only hospital.
Aldan shared her frustration when her brother who had severe abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting was allegedly given medicine that he was allergic to when he was brought to the emergency room despite the staff being informed. Aldan was also upset when she said the hospital did not give them discharge papers for her brother’s visit.
On another letter, Aldan aired another complaint when this time, her mother was brought to the emergency room due to low blood sugar and was allegedly told to buy the food that her mom needs. She said her mother was discharged without waiting to see if her numbers would go back up.
Aldan said she is only visiting Saipan and has now had two “horrendous experience” with the hospital.
“I hope whoever the director of that hospital corrects this and advocates for the rights of every patient that walks through those doors. How are the directors and administrators of the hospital chosen and do they have a medical background? I cannot comprehend how this happens and is acceptable,” Aldan writes.
While CHCC chief executive officer Esther Muna declined to answer to specific complaints, she said that the hospital has a system in place to check the quality of their services.
“CHCC has a system of checking on our doctors, has a system to check for quality control,” Muna said, “We have a system to check on our physicians whether they’re doing their job, whether we’re doing our job, that’s what we do.”
“We have a root cause analysis. Not every review requires a root cause analysis because sometimes the review shows that the doctor did everything right. That’s the process that we follow and we do it consistently. We don’t cover up,” she added.
Risk communications specialist Jason Camacho added that they have a department and processes in place to address issues raised against the hospital.
“We already have a department—the corporate quality and performance department—that addresses those patients. If we have a patient that has a complaint, that’s when we go to the process of incident reporting where it gets reported to our department and then we respond to it,” Camacho said.
“What we want everyone to know is that patients do have rights and if they do have a complaint, they can go and file a patient’s grievance form that’s where we’ll respond. That is the right way,” he added.
Muna added that patients can even go to the regulating agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, should patients be uncomfortable filing their complaints to the hospital.
“They can even go as far as going straight to Medicare. That’s not a problem. That’s how confident we are about what we do,” Muna said.
Muna said they check themselves and they get checked as well with regards to the services that they provide.
“We check ourselves from the front end to the back end,” Muna said, “We get checked; we get reviewed by the CMS.”
Asked if they are giving the best quality of health services to the public, Muna said “yes” adding that the hospital is still the best place to go to especially during emergencies.
“That’s why we have a quality department to make sure that happens,” Muna said.
“CHC is the best place you go to when you have an emergency,” she added.