SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A dozen employees of Mercy Hospital Springfield have been terminated after allegedly mistreating patients.
The firings, said spokesperson Sonya Kullmann, came after the employees after failing to treat patients with “dignity and compassion.”
The hospital declined to provide details about the behavior, but said it was behavior that was neither just or caring and was the result of quote “highly tense situations.”
Hospital employees were informed of the action in an email from Dr. Alan Scarrow, president of Mercy Springfield Communities. “…we have zero tolerance for abuse and neglect of patients. We are called to treat everyone with dignity, cherishing them as created in the image of God,” Scarrow said.
Scarrow’s statement referenced a rise in mental health issues and drug addictions as one of the challenges facing health care facilities.
“As mental health issues and drug addictions rise, health care organizations across the country are facing challenges related to providing a safe environment for patients, visitors and co-workers,” it read, in part.
Kullmann said the incidents and the hospitals response and actions, have been reported to both state and federal health regulators.
Along with these terminations– Scarrow’s statement says training for hospital workers will be increased. “To address these needs, Mercy Hospital Springfield is implementing an expanded program of co-worker training on techniques to de-escalate situations and provide safe and responsible care. Safety training is standard for Mercy co-workers, but this new training provides an ongoing, higher level of preparation in response to growing needs.
“As Mercy co-workers, we are called to treat every individual with dignity and respect even in difficult situations that may pose physical risks for ourselves. The actions we have taken, and the new level of training we are implementing, are critical to ensuring that our co-workers have the education and support necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of everyone,” said Brent Hubbard, chief operating officer, Mercy Hospital Springfield.