Parkland Hospital Improving, but ED Deficiencies Persist

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , May 18, 2012

Among the key activities cited as completed in the progress report:

  • Restructuring of the nursing department, which came under scorching criticism in the 300-page gap analysis report prepared by A&M. The hospital’s interim CEO, Thomas Royer, told HealthLeaders Media that about "75% of Parkland's problems involve inconsistent nursing practices across the system."
  • Creating detailed work plans for meeting the CAP requirements. Six workstream teams—governance, clinical operations, access and throughput, nursing, physicians and quality assessment/performance improvement—have completed this task.
  • Hiring of a chief implementation officer to oversee the implementation of the CAP. Ron Laxton reports directly to Parkland’s board of managers.
  • Hiring a governance consultant, Thomas O’Neil of The Saranac Group, to conduct a board effectiveness review and education program.
  • Hiring a search firm to fill the newly created post of chief patient rights and public safety officer. This senior level executive will report directly to the Parkland board.
  • Creation of a metrics management work group to capture the more than 100 metrics required b y the CAP.

Efforts to reach Debbie Branson, chair of the board of managers, were unsuccessful Thursday. But she released an e-mail statement highlighting the hospital’s CAP accomplishments to date and reaffirming the hospital’s commitment to resolving its problems.

"We know we still have a lot of work to do to improve this healthcare system that is so important to our community," she wrote, "But everyone from the board room to the emergency department is committed to improving patient safety and quality of care."

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