Sharp HealthCare Hit With Major Complaint by Nurses Union
A union representing more than 3,000 nurses at Sharp HealthCare last week filed a quality-of-care complaint with the Department of Health Services alleging 900 violations at Sharp's seven hospitals, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 6/4).
The United Nurses Associations of California/Union of Health Care Professionals in its complaint says that understaffing, lack of training and defective equipment are compromising patient care at the hospitals (Long, San Diego Business Journal, 6/4).
The nurses union says its complaint is the largest quality-of-care complaint in California history.
The complaint charged Sharp with:
- Deceiving DHS by temporarily increasing staff levels near inspections;
- Maintaining inadequate supplies and outdated equipment; and
- Increasing the risk of patient infection because of a shortage of housekeepers.
The union is in the process of negotiating a new labor contract with Sharp.
Corinne Hollings, local president of the union, said the union has requested that Sharp include staffing regulations in the contract but that management officials have refused.
John Cihomsky, vice president of public relations and communications at Sharp, declined to comment on the complaint, saying that he had not seen it. He added that the number of complaints filed by the nurses is low considering the hospital chain treats more than 800,000 patients annually (San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/4).
An executive summary of the nurses' complaint is available on the union Web site. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the file.