King-Harbor restructuring in jeopardy

When Harbor-UCLA Medical Center took over operations of troubled Los Angeles hospital King-Drew, the idea was that Harbor would purge much of the facility's staff and upgrade their skills. However, it appears this isn't happening, despite the fact that the hospital promised these changes to CMS after it threatened to pull its accreditation. Yesterday, county health officials told the Board of Supervisors that they had only reassigned one-third of the hospital's 1,200 employees. For example, two-thirds of 388 registered nurses on King-Harbor's staff, including two with previous suspensions, were still on staff as of late May. This comes despite the fact that 60 percent of registered and licensed vocation nurses failed one or more parts of basic clinical competency tests, along with 60 percent of nurses working in specialized environments such as operating rooms, ICUs and post-anesthesia care.

Harbor officials told the Board that they can only do so much to manage the former King/Drew, given that the two facilities are separately licensed. In reality, what this means is that Harbor-UCLA, whose reputation for care is strong, really isn't running King-Harbor on a day-to-day basis, critics say. This certainly doesn't bode well for King-Harbor keeping its CMS certification in the future.

To find out more about King-Harbor's problems:
- read this Los Angeles Times article

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