Inspection shows health violations at Harrisburg abortion facility

A Department of Health inspection of Hillcrest Women’s Medical Center in Harrisburg shows issues with background checks, expired medical supplies, and anesthesia policy violations.

The Health Department inspected the abortion facility in February as part of an annual registration survey. The report was recently made public.

The inspection says even though Hillcrest was admitting and treating people younger than 18, eight employees did not have required background checks and “the facility was not in compliance with the Child Protective Services Law.”

The survey goes on to say the facility “failed to correctly document the administration of local anesthetic used for abortion procedures,” and there were no local anesthesia policies for patients undergoing surgical abortions.

The Department of Health found expired medications, needles and syringes in paper wraps that were deteriorated and yellow with age, and chlamydia and gonorrhea swaps that expired in 2004.

Hillcrest was cited for not having a quality assurance program or evidence that the staff met to discuss ways to improve patient care.

The Department of Health asked twice for the facility to provide documentation that the consultant physician was board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology. Hillcrest did not provide such documentation.

At the time of inspection, Hillcrest did not employ or use the services of a registered nurse.

Hillcrest has had four out-of-compliance inspections in the last six years.

ABC27 called Hillcrest and left a message with an employee asking for a response. No one called back.

In the inspection notes, Hillcrest representatives wrote that they have since hired a registered nurse, outlined plans to fax the physician certification to the Department of Health, said they have since thrown out all expired medications and supplies, and said all employees will have background checks by June.

Health Department spokesperson April Hutcheson says Hillcrest has until Aug. 31 to complete all corrections. The department will visit the facility again to ensure those corrections have been made. Penalties cannot be assessed until the revisit is complete.

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