Daily Outrage: Rhode Island Hospital fined $150,000 for series of operation mishaps

WHERE: Rhode Island Hospital

WHAT: The state’s largest medical center — and the teaching hospital for Brown University’s medical school — was fined $150,000 on Monday after it had its fifth wrong-site surgery in three years. The state health director also ordered the hospital to take the extraordinary step of installing video cameras in all its operating rooms.

WHAT WENT WRONG: A patient who was supposed to have surgery on two fingers last month was mistakenly given both operations on the same finger. The surgical team just marked the wrist instead marking each finger the way they were supposed to. The hospital had been fined $50,000 once before, when brain surgeons operated on the wrong part of the heads of three patients in 2007.

MORE PRECAUTIONS ORDERED: The hospital must assign a clinical specialist independent of the surgical teams to observe all surgeries for at least one year. Every surgeon at the hospital will be videotaped performing operations at least twice annually.

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