CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) is dedicated to providing quality services at its health care facilities and will not tolerate patient abuse, neglect, or exploitation. To address recent issues with contract staff violating policies at William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital, DHHR will conduct an internal review and will meet with all vendors to reiterate hospital policies and standards. In addition, William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital will transition from phone interviews to virtual or in-person interviews for all contract nursing staff and will initiate a work environment assessment.
Safeguarding and advancing patient safety is DHHR’s top priority. All direct access employees, independent contractors, and volunteers at health care facilities are required to complete a comprehensive fingerprint-based federal and state background check through WV Clearance for Access: Registry & Employment Screening (WV CARES). As a unit of DHHR’s Office of Inspector General, WV CARES diligently monitors criminal records and promptly notifies employers in the event of any subsequent changes in employees’ criminal record information. William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital’s onboarding requirements also include a thorough initial orientation, a preceptorship, and a demonstration of competencies for all contract staff.
When a contract staff has (or is suspected to have) committed an abusive or neglectful act, William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital immediately notifies the vendor that the individual cannot return to the facility unless the allegations are not substantiated. In addition, William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital alerts the appropriate authorities, participates in the investigative process, conducts internal investigations, and requests an independent investigation by independent advocates.