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Parkland Dismissals Linked to Patient Safety, Accountability

Joe Cantlupe and Margaret Dick Tocknell, March 15, 2012

Over the past three months, at least 75 employees at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas have been among staff "encouraged to leave" in a widespread shakeup as hospital officials try to improve the much maligned hospital system, HealthLeaders Media has learned.

Interim CEO Thomas Royer, MD, in recent interview, said the hospital is "holding people accountable" and its actions were related to "people (who) have been careless" or "not performing their roles."

"In about 14 weeks, we have seen changes in staffing, numbering about 75 people," Royer says, referring to Parkland personnel. "I'm not telling you that all have been encouraged to leave. I would say a number of them were encouraged to leave." Hospital officials believed that the employees did not meet the administration's expectations for their jobs. "We were setting for their roles they did not have the energy to do, they did not or want to put forth that much effort," Royer says. "(We) decided this was no longer the place for them to work."

While Royer would not discuss specific personnel moves, he did say that most of the issues related to an overhaul at Parkland relate to its nursing programs and the psychiatric unit, the target of many complaints and sharp government criticism. "I would say 70% had to do with consistency and standardization of nursing practice, probably 15% had to do with physicians issues that include documentation, timing of verbal orders, and discharge planning that physicians are involved in," he says.

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4 comments on "Parkland Dismissals Linked to Patient Safety, Accountability"


Employee (5/30/2013 at 5:44 PM)
This is the absolute worst place to work. The other posts are spot on. CMS should shut it down.

A concerned doctor (3/19/2012 at 1:23 PM)
This is the first time that the staffs at Parkland and UT Southwestern have had to be accountable for their actions. Now, their incompetent staffs are whining that they have too many responsibilities to account for. That only tells you two things: 1. Parkland's staff never took responsibility for their actions before, and 2. now they are being held responsible for their actions, Parkland is too big, too impersonal, too dysfunctional, and is way too overcrowded to see the number of patients they are seeing. The answer for the feds, their safety monitors, the Parkland Board of Managers, and the Dallas County Commissioners is to break-up Parkland, close down non-compliant units (such as their Emergency Room, Surgery, Labor and Delivery, Psychiatric, and Orthopedics units), down-grade their horrible Level-1 Trauma unit, Burn unit and Emergency Rooms, and down-size their overall number of inpatient beds. The next steps after that are: 1. stop the $1.3 billion replacement hospital construction to make Parkland bigger, which is distracting from Parkland's only important business of becoming a safe and compliant hospital, 2. build more, smaller, responsive county community hospitals to meet the demands for Dallas' public health care needs, and 3. stop whining and take responsibility for your actions. I can't emphasize enough what a big embarrassment and black eye Parkland is to the entire health care profession. They are basically eroding the trust and confidence of the public in all health care professionals by their unprofessional conduct, and no health care professional should tolerate their shenanigans at this point. UT Southwestern should follow Parkland's lead and start firing their faculty members and administrators who have contributed to this mess. This kind of unprofessionalism by two institutions should not be tolerated by anyone within the profession and should be swiftly dealt with.

RN BSN (3/16/2012 at 10:37 AM)
I've been a dedicated nurse at the hospital for 5+ years. We have been given so many more responsibilities and accountabilities but have recieved no additional support. A number of my colleagues feel that everyday at work is a possible jeopardy to our licenses. There is so much to do/monitor for our patients in so little time, that it's just a matter of time before another mistake occurs. Every single employee on my unit has been preparing for their next job.