Curious - how does your facility handle "lost" items?

  1. I'm curious as to how other facilities handle "lost" patient items.

    Recently we had a patient who "lost" a very expensive item the night before discharge. The daughter of the patient claims it was present when she left the night before, and was gone the next morning when she came to pick him up at discharge. Security is treating it as a crime, and management is all up in arms.

    It really seems to me that anything expensive should be 1.) left at home or 2.) put in the hospital safe. We document it on the property list, but really have no way of ensuring that everything stays safe. We have a very community oriented hospital - visitors are allowed 24 hours a day, and security has no idea who is on what floor. It could have been an employee, an outsider, or a scam by the family.

    Seems to me that if a paitent insists on expensive items on their person, they should sign a waiver that the hospital is not responsible for lost/stolen items.

    Regardless, I don't think the nurse should be held responsible for personal items. We have enough to worry about as it is.
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    About NightOwl0624, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '07; Posts: 554; Likes: 802
    Specialty: 6 year(s) of experience


  3. by   tokmom
    Our belongings list states on the bottom that we are not responsible for lost items, however, we turn the floor upside down looking for them. The other day a pt came in with 1,100 CASH! We made him lock it up and we gave it to security to keep. It didn't even stay on our floor in our safe.
    We heavily encourage items to be locked up. It's a very sticky situation when something goes missing. Thankfully, everything that has been missing has shown up. Either in a drawer or the pt family took it home and never told us.

    Good luck in finding your item.
  4. by   noyesno
    We just say "sorry" and shoveling them out the door.

    One patient's medication was confiscated from her in the ED (it was a narcotic) and when I discharged her she asked for it. I tried to hunt it down (called security, ED, pharmacy, nursing supervisor, etc) but nobody had any record of it. I found this unacceptable, especially, since the patient brought the bottle of pills in so we would know what she took.

    I gave the patient the patient representative's number and told her to call to file a complaint asap.

    Another patient had this really cute snuggie that was lost. I called the patient representative about it and said there was nothing we could do.
  5. by   tojal1989
    we have a closet full of belongings in plastic bags up to the neck lol