A baby born at Jackson South Community Hospital was at the center of an internal investigation into a breach of patient privacy and hospital policy – and two hospital administrators no longer work there as a result, sources said.
According to sources, the child was born on Oct. 4 and abandoned by its mother. A couple of days later the newborn was taken from the second-floor nursery to the first floor.
The hospital security band was taken off the baby, and a family looking to adopt was directly contacted by one of the employees and went to the hospital to see the baby, the sources told NBC 6 South Florida.
An investigation was launched quickly, Jackson Health System spokesman Ed O’Dell said.
“Once we learned that there was a possibility of hospital policy being violated, we immediately began an investigation and as a result of that investigation we did determine that hospital policy was probably violated, and as such two people were terminated,” he said of the employees, who technically were allowed to resign.
Privacy drove the investigation, O’Dell said.
“There was an error when it came to hospital policy related to privacy,” he said.
The Department of Children and Families said it is involved with the child in the case.
“A call was made to the DCF hotline when the child was born,” agency spokeswoman Lissette Valdes-Valle said in a statement. “An investigator went out there. The child stayed at the hospital over the weekend for medical attention. We learned what happened after the child was safe in DCF care."
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration also said it is looking into the incident. A “complaint inspection” concluded Nov. 8, and the results of that investigation are now under review, according to spokeswoman Shelisha Coleman.
No patients were harmed because of the incident, Jackson President and CEO Carlos Migoya said in a memo to the Public Health Trust Financial Recovery Board on Tuesday.
He said that “many of the front-line employees at Jackson South took the appropriate actions to try preventing and recovering from this violation.”
Still, Migoya acknowledged, “This is an unfortunate blemish on Jackson South’s excellent reputation with patients, physicians and the rest of the Jackson family. I am confident we will learn from this incident and move forward with the certainty that our health system will not tolerate anything less than total commitment to patient rights.”
Safe Haven For Newborns was not involved in this case, but the organization’s founder is knowledgeable about hospital policies regarding adoption.
“That's a bad thing, because basically that child, they broke the confidentiality of that, they broke the security of that,” Nick Silverio said about the case. “They had no business being there in that light. If they wanted to adopt the child and they went through the process for that, the protocol was broken.”