General Hospital shamefully negligent in preventing spread of disease especially during flu epidemic

By Robert Field


The article “Is General Hospital lax in preventing spread of disease? ” appeared on June 4, 2017.  Yesterday I once again visited Lancaster General Hospital  for a blood test.

The prior article started:  “When visiting hospitals in Philadelphia and New York, we encountered hand sanitizing gel dispensers almost everywhere and make use of them, realizing that every thing touched in a hospital has a potential for transmitting disease.

“According to John Hopkins Medicine, “Good hand hygiene – washing hands or using a hand sanitizing gel – is the number one way to prevent the spread of germs.”

“Yet on recent visits to Lancaster General Hospital, we were surprised at a scarcity of hand sanitizing gel dispensers on the floors. Last week we walked from the blood lab in the annex across Duke Street to the garage at the main entrance on James Street without encountering a dispenser.”

Yesterday, in the midst of the worse flu epidemic in a decade,  I visited Lancaster General for a blood test.

They still hadn’t installed hand sanitizing dispensers throughout the hospital.  Especially unserved where  the elevator landings and doorways where they are omnipresent in almost all hospitals.

I did not visit the upper floors of the hospital.

Many of the entry doors do open automatically which is a good thing in preventing the spread of disease from those coming to and leaving the hospital.  But they have not so equipped the doors between the hospital and garage on upper floors.

At a time when, due to the flu epidemic, other hospitals are restricting visitors and especially encouraging visitors to sanitize their hands, Lancaster General is still doing nothing in this area to protect the health of patients, staff and visitors.

I see this as extraordinary and willful  negligence on their part.


Updated: January 27, 2018 — 7:17 am


  1. Willful negligence? Little bit over the top.

  2. Yes, good hand washing and using sanitizing foam is necessary to help prevent the spread of the flu. LGH does make sure their staff is vaccinated with the flu shot every year. This is a non negotiable for employment unless the employee has a documented allergy to eggs and/or reaction—must be documented by medical professional. I believe your term of words “willful negligence” is seriously misused in this case. Though I can see your point of placing sanitizers in specific areas, this does not make LGH “willfully negligent”. Maybe if your voiced your concerns to the appropriate people and in a rational manner, things maybe different. (LGH also advices Facial masks to be worn if cold/cough to prevent germs from spreading if necessary for their staff).

    EDITOR: Is this a coordinated response with two comments focusing on our description of LGH being “willfully negligent” rather than calling the hospital to account for not properly protecting patients, staff and visitors? It is a perfect example of “blame the messenger.” . And the need for hand sanitizing isn’t just because of the current flu epidemic. It is to protect everyone from other diseases transmitted through touch.

    As for whether LGH was “willfully negligent”, they certainly know the industry standards. And we brought this to their attention seven months ago, plenty of time for them to have installed hand sanitizing devices had it been just an oversight on their part.

    They knew, they always knew even before NewsLanc spoke out, and to us that is being “willfully negligent” . Hospitals are considered very dangerous places to be. Failure to take proper sanitary precautions leads to sickness and often death. How else would you describe LGH’s failure to act properly?

  3. Hand sanitizers are located Outside each patient room and inside each room as staff must ” foam in “before entering and ” foam out” upon leaving. This is in addition to washing hands with soap and water if you had direct contact with the patient. Patient safety is priority.

  4. How about limiting the amount of relatives in emergency room… it’s ridiculous that people have 5 or 6 or more

  5. I think the offer e-visits as well. Too many go to emergency room for flu and minor stuff instead of a family doctor. And a lot of people don’t use sanitizers OR wash thier hands.

    All bathrooms have soap and water and sanitizers and you can bring your own if you are that neuorotic about it

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