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Parkland Dismissals Linked to Patient Safety, Accountability

Joe Cantlupe and Margaret Dick Tocknell, March 15, 2012

Among the nursing-related deficiency episodes identified by A&M:

  • A patient death from respiratory arrest appeared to be related to the administration of a narcotic drug by a nurse who didn't possess either a written or verbal order from a physician for administration of the medication.
  • In a one-week period five babies in the nursery received vaccine inoculations and had adverse reactions. Although nursing contacted the hospital pharmacy, neither nursing nor pharmacy completed a patient safety network report for any of the incidents. As a result multiple babies were affected and potentially suffered respiratory distress.
  • Nursing staff could not locate or identify on computer the discharge planning screen and stated that they do not commonly refer patients to discharge planning. Parkland's case management department reported that referrals from nursing based on the initial nursing assessment were infrequent.
  • An intake nurse in the emergency department placed in an open waiting room a patient reporting suicidal thoughts. The patient wasn't escorted immediately for care or provided a one-to-one sitter until care was available. The patient waited about 30 minutes and then disappeared. Following an intensive search and dispatch by the Parkland Police Department, the patient was recovered at home.
  • An ED intake nurse failed to notice a mother and young child and mother on the floor under a water fountain in the ED waiting area. The intake nurse was unaware of the mother or child's presence or status in the waiting area and in fact was reading homework materials when interviewed by an A&M surveyor.
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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.