Last Friday the Department of Health Survey team alerted hospitals that they will temporarily suspend acute care hospital licensing surveys until Feb. 17, 2022 when the governor’s proclamation on non-urgent medical procedures ends.
This is in response to the pressure the Omicron surge has placed on hospitals. DOH will still investigate high-priority complaints and follow up on pending enforcement action. Any other complaints made against hospitals during this time of suspended survey activity will receive DOH follow-up, if necessary, after Feb. 17, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Darcy Jaffe at email@example.com or Taya Briley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is the full DOH message sent out to hospitals:
Dear Hospital Providers,
The Department of Health continues to recognize hospitals are experiencing a community-level COVID-19 surge that affects their operations and ability to accommodate onsite surveys. Effective today, the department is temporarily suspending acute care hospital licensing surveys until February 17, 2022 to coincide with the governor’s prohibition on non-urgent health care services, procedures, and surgeries (Proclamation 20-24.3).
We will continue the following compliance activities:
- Investigate complaints deemed a high priority, such as allegations of imminent risk to patient safety. Include providers with alleged concerns regarding infection control and the potential spread of COVID-19.
- Perform on-site visits as necessary to resolve pending enforcement actions.
The suspension of routine state licensing surveys applies only to hospitals licensed and defined by RCW 70.41.