Michigan gets more sanitation, safety complaints about McLaren Macomb hospital

June 08, 2021, 8:30 AM

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The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has asked a Michigan licensing agency to investigate patient and staff complaints against McLaren Macomb hospital in Mt. Clemens, state officials confirm to WXYZ.

A Lansing inquiry already was under way, Heather Catallo reports in a follow-up to a story she broke last month.

Since the start of the pandemic, a LARA [Licensing a Regulatory Affairs] spokeswoman says their Bureau of Community and Health Services has received 35 complaints about McLaren Macomb.

Twenty-six of those were either closed or referred to a federal or outside agency for further investigation. ...

Six of those complaints were filed after the 7 Action News original investigation aired in May, including one initiated by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Complaints focus on allegedly unsanitary conditions and laxity in upholding Covid precautions.

The station quotes Dina Carlisle, vice president of the nurse’s union at the 288-bed suburban hospital:

"We continue to make these complaints to the hospital regarding these issues. ... Patient safety is my priority. It's part of our duty to all work together and have a great environment for our patients and for the staff to work there."

Hospital chief executive Tom Brisse told Catallo last month: "Our team continues to clean and sanitize our facility to ensure quality care for our patients."

Earlier coverage, May 11:

A state agency, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), reportedly is investigating a complaint about sanitation and patient distancing precautions at McLaren Macomb hospital in Mt. Clemens.

"Since the start of the pandemic, MIOSHA has investigated nine different complaints about McLaren Macomb," Heather Catallo reports at WXYZ.

She speaks confidentially with emergency room nurses "alleging that Covid-19 patients are not being isolated, potentially exposing other patients and staff."

They also say you can regularly see stacks of soiled linens, overflowing garbage, and they allege the waiting room at the McLaren Macomb emergency room is rarely cleaned. ...

"The public should know what is happening to their healthcare heroes, to their frontline workers. It’s appalling,” said one McLaren Macomb emergency department nurse.

Another tells the reporter: "I even tell my friends not to go there because I know they're not taking the precautions that are necessary to keep the patients safe."

The nurses [describe] stacks of soiled linens, overflowing garbage cans, filthy patient bathrooms and messy floors. ...

The McLaren nurses also allege the Emergency Department waiting room is rarely cleaned and that Covid-19 patients are not isolated. ...

The nation's largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care is opening up a report based on the allegations in this story. The Joint Commission’s Office of Quality and Patient Safety is going to review these concerns.

A hospital spokesman links the allegations to contract negotiations this summer with the McLaren nurses’ union.


The 288-bed hospital on Harrington Street had 37 Covid patients late last week and was 90% full, according to the latest state health department figures.

In a statement to the station, hospital chief executive Tom Brisse says:

"Our team continues to clean and sanitize our facility to ensure quality care for our patients. Our emergency department is staffed by our Environmental Services team 24 hours-a-day.

"ER patient rooms are deep-cleaned daily and cleaned between each patient. Our ER waiting room is deep-cleaned a minimum of 3 times each day and monitored throughout the day for ongoing cleaning as needed."

Read more:  WXYZ

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