Connecticut Veterans Facility Did Not Notify Patient of Positive HIV Test for Eight Months
The Connecticut Veterans Home and Hospital failed for eight months to notify a patient that he had tested HIV-positive, despite the fact that he returned to the hospital nine days after being tested, the Hartford Courant reports. The unnamed man was tested on Oct. 3, 2001, but was not told of his test results until June 2, 2002, even though he had been seen at the hospital on Oct. 12. Hospital officials could not give a reason for the delay. "There's no excuse for this. It's not something we can just slough off," state Sen. Alvin Penn (D) said. In response to the incident, the hospital has established a new HIV-testing policy, which prohibits HIV tests from being conducted on patients who are staying in the hospital for less than 24 hours. HIV tests usually take more than 24 hours to process. The policy, which went into effect in June, also requires the patient's primary care physician to provide pre- and post-test counseling (Reidy, Hartford Courant, 9/14). The incident, which was one of "numerous violations" listed in a Connecticut Department of Public Health report issued on Aug. 23, is the latest "blow" for the hospital, which declined to seek national accreditation in April, according to the Associated Press. The hospital has previously been cited for several health and safety violations (Associated Press, 9/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.