Parkland on the mend? Scorecard mixed on improvements

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Troubled Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas could finally be on the mend, with patient complaints and grievances steadily declining over the past six months as the hospital followed an exhaustive plan addressing patient safety, treatment, governance and cleanliness issues, according to an article in the Dallas Business Journal.

Regina Burks, Parkland's patient relations director, told the hospital's Board of Managers that the number of grievances had dropped from 416 in October 2012 to 320 in March 2013. The average time of settling grievances has fallen from 21 days to 13 days, a signficant drop but short of the government-plan goal of seven days, according to the newspaper.

More than half of the grievances--56 percent--relate to accessibility issues. Other issues include care and treatment, attitude and courtesy, and staff responsiveness, Burks reported to the board.

Parkland executives told the board Tuesday the hospital has made nearly all of the 499 changes ordered under a federally mandated corrective action plan. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will conduct a followup inspection by Aug. 31.

In a separate article, the Dallas Business Journal notes that emergency department wait times improved at Parkland, but IV-associated bloodstream infections jumped.  

In February, the hospital had amassed $1.5 billion in reserves, but a third of it was earmarked for new hospital construction.

In December 2012, FierceHealthcare put Parkland at No. 4 on its hospital naughty list. Public safety monitors found hundreds of adverse patient safety issues in June 2012 alone. The hospital also failed to pay part of a $1 million settlement to the Texas Department of State Health Services to resolve litigation and enforcement-action issues.  

To learn more:
- read the article about Parkland's slow improvements
- here's the article about the hospital's mixed scorecard

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