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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