Parkland Keeping Consultant's Analysis Under Wraps

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , February 9, 2012

"It's most troubling because the same issues appear across multiple service lines. It shows that policies and procedures have not been uniformly abided by. There's a lack of accountability and not everyone is held to the same standard of performance," Royer said.

Royer declined to address specifics of the gap analysis. His did say that the report from Alvarez & Marsal looks at 15 services lines as well as quality and safety issues at the hospital. It also addresses some systemic issues such as inconsistencies in nursing practices. He explained that senior management has already begun to implement some of the policies and procedures necessary to address Parkland's problems. "I've been meeting with our consultants as they developed the report so we've been able to develop solutions to many of the issues in real time."

Some of his more public changes have involved senior personnel, including the hiring of a new chief nursing officer and a senior vice president of human resources. Parkland also added an implementation officer to make sure the improvement plan stays on pace.

Royer says the hospital staff and leadership need to take full ownership of the problems. He has little patience, he says, with people who want to blame the aging Parkland facility and its patient load for its poor review performance. "That's the environment in which we work and that's the environment where we must put improvement in place."

Royer joined the hospital in November 2011. He succeeded Ron Anderson, MD, who was the CEO for 29 years before the board removed him from that position in August. Anderson remains under contract with Parkland.

Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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