Capitol Hill Hospital's license to operate its emergency room has been renewed following a three-month city investigation of conditions in the hospitals emergency facility.
The license was reduced to "provisional" status one March 23 following reports that an auto accident victim died of massive internal injuries less than an hour after being discharged as sound from the Capitol Hill emergency room.
Following the publication of reports of that death, two other cases came to light in which persons discharged from Capitol Hill's emergency room as sound died a short time later.
Albert P. Russo, director of the District of Columbia's Department of Human Resources, said yesterday "I can assure you that a very thorough investigation took place. The re were four or five unannounced visits" by inspectors to the hospital which "justify continuance of their emergency room service."
Asked whether the public could have confidence in the level of care at Capitol Hill, Russo said "Yes. I have been told the hospital survey team was quite impressed" when it made its most recent inspection visit.
Russo said he is also asking that the District Fire Department restore Capitol Hill to its ambulance route. DHR had requested that life-threatening emergencies not be taken to the hospital during the probationary period.
Russo said he is also asking that the subject to its annual licensure inspection visit May 1, 2 and 3 and "no serious deficiencies were noted at the time of the survey. Based on the overall licensing survey we are renewing their over-all license."
Capitol Hill recently arranged with the American College of Emergency Physicians to have a survey team from that organization study the hospital's emergency room operation and report on its short comings and make suggestions for improvement. At that time, the hospital promised the results of that survey would be made public.
The hospital has since refused to release the study, citing pending malpractice suits totaling over $200 million as the reason for its refusal.