Parkland Hospital Audits Raise Troubling Questions
As HealthLeaders Media's Margaret Dick Tocknell pointed out last week, the sweeping deficiencies among nine broad categories at Parkland include:
- Failure to dispose of soiled gloves and gowns and wash hands after treating patients
- Failure to properly dispose of infectious waste, including used syringes, body fluids, used respiratory equipment and used suction equipment
- Lack of stabilizing treatment in emergency department before a transfer to another acute care facility
- Lack of ER screening by a qualified medical professional
- Failure to identify or assess emergency severity index
- Medical residents unsupervised during clinical care by either an attending physician or faculty member
- ER patients in a high level of pain provided with maps and directed to go to other parts of the hospital for treatment without benefit of any other assistance
- Failure to provide 24-hour nursing services
- Failure to change bed linens between emergency room patients
- Failure to dispose of expired medications
These deficiencies were not incidental mistakes that can not be explained away as regrettable, but understandable oversights at a major safety net hospital which is understaffed, underfunded, and stressed to carry out its mission.
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