Tuesday, December 30, 2008


UPMC is announcing a new initiative to locate missing patients. It's called 'Condition L.' Holly Lorenz, chief nursing officer and vice president of patient care services, says staff will be mobilized from across all areas of a facility in a comprehensive effort to rapidly locate a patient. She says that would include doctors, nurses, security, maintenance and housekeeping workers. There would be an announcement made with a description of the missing patient broadcast throughout the facility. She says local police would be notified. This new procedure is being implemented following the recent death of an elderly patient who was missing from Montefiore Hospital. Rose Lee Diggs, who suffered from dementia, was found dead on the hospital's roof earlier this month after wandering away from her room.

Lorenz says "Condition L" will be utilized first at UPMC Presbyterian and then put in place throughout the UPMC system. UPMC wants to have photos taken of patients who are identified as at-risk when they are first admitted to help in the identification process. Those patients would also be given special hospital gowns to make them easier to spot if they leave a unit. Lorenz says UPMC is also evaluating the use of trained search dogs to help locate missing patients.

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