After a patient at University of Maryland Medical Center/System died in a hospital room fire in November, UMMC has implemented a more stringent Tobacco Free Policy. After the fire, the fire department found smoking material including a lighter near the victim's bed.
"A CMS survey report from December delved into this specific patient death further and focused on ways to help prevent future patients from smoking in the hospital," UMMC Director-Media Relations Karen Lancaster said. "CMS found that the hospital could do more to manage patients identified as smokers upon admission and that the hospital should do more to address patients caught smoking in the hospital."
The more stringent Tobacco-Free policy includes aspects on how to manage non-compliant patients and visitors, up to and including 24/7 in-room monitoring of patients who will not comply and who pose a threat to themselves and to others in the hospital, Lancaster noted.