All Children’s Acknowledges 13 Patients Injured by Heart Program
After conducting an internal investigation, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital acknowledged that 13 of their patients were injured while being treated at their hospital. Although each of these cases should have been reported immediately to authorities, none of them were reported until news broke about the heart surgery program’s problems.
In a candid town hall meeting, Kevin Sowers, who has served as Johns Hopkins All Children’s president since former CEO Jonathan Ellen resigned, indicated that leadership knew there were quality control problems with the department and neglected to raise their concerns with the board. Sowers also indicated that Johns Hopkins had let All Children’s Hospital down.
Indeed, the quality of care appeared to take a serious hit once Johns Hopkins had taken over. All Children’s Hospital once had a well-respected heart program in the State of Florida. But executives for the hospital wanted to raise the hospital’s profile. So they brought Johns Hopkins in. Problems began almost immediately as Johns Hopkins started making major changes to the department. This included replacing staff and splitting surgeries between all of the hospital’s surgeons.
Beforehand, one surgeon, Dr. James Quintessenza, was given the bulk of the most complex surgeries. Afterward, these surgeries were given to two surgeons who were primarily known for their academic publications.
Some of Those Brought in By Johns Hopkins “Did not Act in Their Patient’s Best Interests”
Perhaps the most damning confession to come out of the town hall meeting was that some of the officials brought into Johns Hopkins were not acting in the best interests of the children who they were supposed to be serving. These are individuals, he said, that hid information from both the hospital’s board of directors and from the government.
In 2015, medical staffers expressed concern over two of the department’s surgeons, but administration failed to heed their warnings and allowed surgeries to progress as scheduled without shifting the workload. As a result, the government threatened to cut funding for the hospital if changes were not made. This resulted in the resignation of two surgeons and several executives including the CEO.
Much of the blame for these problems is being laid at the feet of Jonathan Ellen and Johns Hopkins. The changes that they made to the department directly correlated to the department’s collapse. Perhaps more problematically, Ellen was sent to be a liaison to oversee the integration of All Children’s with Johns Hopkins. During that period, adverse medical results caused by the department were swept under the rug resulting in more liability for the hospital and more patients injured and killed.
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