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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Dallas Hospitals Cited for Safety

Who is responsible for patient safety?

In 2014, the Dallas Morning News conducted an analysis of almost six million patient records from the two most recent full years of data for Dallas and Fort Worth-area hospitals. The analysis was limited to short-term, acute-care hospitals that provide the patient information annually to the state and are available through request. The data did not contain personal information and summarized diagnoses, types of treatments and patient outcomes.

The analysis used methodology and software to examine this information in relation to medically deemed preventable complications such as bed sores, hemorrhages and infections, known as Patient Safety Indicators (PSI) and calculated the hospital’s performance. The software helps to analyze the general hospital conditions such as differences in the types of conditions, economic differences in patients contributing to overall lower healthcare, and number of cases the hospital addressed, then adjusts the metric risk taking account of those factors.

Hospitals had stark differences in these metrics from privately to publicly run, along with regional and local differences. Public hospitals considered teaching hospitals performed worse than privately-owned hospitals, though this is not the case for every teaching hospital.

North Texas-based hospitals performed worse on average than others in other parts of the state, but Dallas Regional had one of the highest scores for patient safety. The hospital attributed the score to a focus on patient safety and providing quality care through attention to detail and staff training.

Hospitals with poor safety numbers stand to lose federal funding if something is not done to improve numbers. In these cases, the government requires a hospital to have oversight of federal safety monitors. This was the case for Dallas County Parkland Memorial Hospital. After a long Dallas Morning News investigation revealed major safety issues at the hospital, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid intervened providing safety monitors. The hospital has improved enough to no longer need that supervision.

The newspaper shared its findings with the Texas Hospital Association who shared the results with its members. Since the release of the study, hospitals have seen improvements in patient safety metrics but commented that the study does not reflect the most current safety performance.

The experienced personal injury attorneys at Sawicki Law Firm are located in Dallas and serve clients throughout Texas. Call us at (888)468-8844 for a free consultation. We will fight for the compensation you deserve, with no fee until you collect.

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