Feds Uncover Unresolved Problems at Johns Hopkins All Children’s
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital was the target of a multi-part expose conducted by the Tampa Bay Times recently. Having uncovered numerous patient deaths attributed to poor sanitation and medical incompetence, a number of senior officials with the hospital resigned. The federal government also threatened to revoke public funding for the hospital. Amid a series of inspections, many of the most serious problems have been addressed, but a recent article suggests that there are still some lingering problems and All Children’s was still reported to be noncompliant with key federal regulations.
Problems Continue in Key Areas
February’s follow-up inspection noted that All Children’s was still not compliant with key federal regulations. These included internal governance problems, sanitary and infection control problems, and quality control issues. Officials responded by giving All Children’s an April deadline to correct the problem under the threat that they would pull Medicare and Medicaid funding.
This isn’t the first time the government has threatened to pull public funding for the hospital. The government cited All Children’s for problems with their organizational structure that left patients in immediate danger. While All Children’s has made strides in the right direction, Senators Charlie Crist and Kathy Castor still said the hospital could face serious sanctions for the gross mismanagement that led to numerous preventable deaths. This could even provoke legislation that improves the regulatory systems and reporting systems in place that oversee hospitals.
Regulators Missed Signs of Serious Problems
Between 2015 and 2017, the rate of deaths at Johns Hopkins All Children’s spiked considerably gaining the dubious distinction of being three times the state average and higher than any other pediatric heart department in the state. Meanwhile, parents continued to send their children to the hospital under the belief that it was one of the best programs in the country. Indeed, that’s exactly what All Children’s hoped to accomplish when they brought in Johns Hopkins to manage their pediatric heart department. But the exact opposite happened sparking outrage not just at the hospital, but the regulatory system that allowed parents to send their children to a failed program.
Former executives for the hospital turned a blind eye not only to escalating fatalities and adverse medical incidents but also to the concerns of their own staff who reported serious sanitation problems in ORs that caused even low-risk surgeries to turn fatal. Lax safety standards and incompetent doctors created immediate dangers to the children they operated on while administration did nothing to correct the problem and actively hid information not only from regulators but their own board.
Today, Johns Hopkins All Children’s is seeking to restore the community’s confidence in its standard of care, but the problem may go beyond All Children’s. Johns Hopkins faces similar problems at other hospitals it runs throughout the country.
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