PALO ALTO (KPIX 5) — A nasty public campaign, targeting one of the bay area’s most prestigious hospitals.
A new ad blitz claims Stanford Health Center is putting patients at risk for infections.
SEIU, one of the largest unions of hospital workers in the country, is taking aim at Stanford Health Care with an ominous sounding, 60-second radio ad that has been playing on Bay Area radio stations for the past week.
The ad states: “Stanford Heath Care has been a trusted institution in the Bay Area. But as they’ve expanded, they’ve lost track of the basics, like preventing patient infections. For the third year in a row, Stanford Hospital has had one of the highest rates of patient infections in the country, all while Stanford is charging some of the highest prices in the state.”
The radio ads direct listeners to stanfordinfections.info, a website with a deep data dive on the rate of patients who get infections while staying at Stanford, commonly called “hospital acquired conditions”.
In particular, when looking at the bacteria “clostridium difficile”, Stanford saw a higher rate of infections when compared to the national average.
And since 2016, Stanford has failed to reduce hospital infections. So, the federal government penalized Stanford by reducing Medicare payments by 1 percent.
Linda Cornell with SEIU-UHW said, “I think Stanford in some ways just sweeps a lot of this stuff underneath the rug.”
The union says the radio ads meant to raise awareness about working conditions at Stanford Health Care.
SEIU says temporary employees are given big workloads, then forced to rush when cleaning rooms. What’s more, there is high turnover among the temp workers.
The union says All those new, inexperienced, understaffed and workers has led to a perfect storm of more infections.
Cornell said, “They don’t give them adequate time to do the cleaning or training and I think that really contributes to the high infection rates.”
However, medicare.gov gave Stanford Health Center an overall rating of four out of five stars.
And Stanford issued a written statement saying: “We feel it is unfortunate and disrespectful to our employees and the community that SEIU-UHW continues to distort the facts…Stanford Health Care…actually exceeds the industry benchmark at preventing infections.”
And they say they are extremely proud of their overall quality rating.