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Parkland Hospital Improving, but ED Deficiencies Persist

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

While the accomplishments are important, the ED tasks behind schedule are central to the deficiencies identified during a July 2011 on-site review of Parkland by CMS. Those findings set into motion events that led to Parkland and CMS signing a rare systems improvement agreement and the hiring of A&M.

Specifically, Parkland has not yet implemented 100% concurrent case management of all ED admissions and consistent attending psychiatric physician coverage in the psychiatric ED.

Construction halted
Perhaps more troubling is a recent media report that ED screening problems could persist in the new $1.2 billion Parkland Memorial currently under construction. Federal regulators have halted work on the ED facility pending the correction of a design that would have resulted in patients being routed out of the ED to other areas of the new hospital without being screened for their medical conditions.

In an e-mail statement, Lou Saksen, senior vice president of construction, provided no timetable for the redesign stating only that "design changes to the emergency department are under way. Once design is completed, construction to that area will resume in an effort to complete the project on time." The new hospital is slated for completion in 2015.

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