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We’re From The Government. We’re Here To Help …

The clock is ticking for Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.

Earlier this month, Parkland was cited by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for several “serious threats” to patient safety. As a result, the hospital is now in jeopardy of losing its ability to participate in the Medicare program unless it submits “correction plans” to CMS by August 20, 2011.

According to a CMS spokesperson, two violations relating to infection control and emergency care issues were “so serious that they triggered ‘immediate jeopardy’” for the hospital. In fact, the reasons for the citation were so heinous that CMS won’t even disclose them to the public until Parkland submits plans on how to fix those super secret problems. That’s the subject of another WTF discussion, but we’ll save that one for later.

The event triggering the CMS investigation involved a schizophrenic psychiatric patient with a heart condition who died while in the emergency department. The report states that the technicians who subdued the man did not have “effective training” and that the patient was not closely monitored before his death.

According to the article and an interview Parkland’s Chief Medical Officer, Parkland was cited for several reasons. Based on what I can gather from the article, two of the hospital’s citations were for:

– Moving patients with less serious symptoms to a separate urgent care center for medical screening
– Staff touching a patient and then touching other surfaces that people would come into contact with

Think about how grave these dangers are.

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