Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital has begun implementing some of the dozens of recommendations from a law firm hired to identify deficiencies at the hospital and its parent organization, Johns Hopkins Medicine, in the wake of high death rates in the St. Petersburg hospital’s pediatric cardiology program.
Those recommendations include promoting a “see something, say something” culture and giving physician leaders a stronger voice. They are included in a 12-page report from the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, which also said other hospitals that are part of the Johns Hopkins system should be evaluated for similar gaps.
The recommendations focus on four key areas, said Dr. Kevin Sowers, president of Johns Hopkins Health System and executive vice president of Johns Hopkins Medicine.
He outlined those four areas in a video posted online. They are: strengthen the management and culture at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital; improve processes for evaluating patient clinical quality and safety; clarify and streamline the reporting structure between the six Johns Hopkins Hospitals and the Johns Hopkins Health System; and review the ways in which the boards of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital and Johns Hopkins Medicine should advance their governance responsibilities.
“The boards of both Johns Hopkins Medicine and Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital approved the findings and have directed leadership to implement the recommendations presented in the review,” Sowers said. “We have already begun implementing changes that address some of these recommendations. In the coming weeks, the board of Johns Hopkins Medicine will appoint a monitor to track and report regularly back to them on the hospital’s progress.”
Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, with 259 beds, is the regional pediatric referral center for Florida’s west coast. The investigation into the deaths was prompted by a series of news stories in the Tampa Bay Times.
It’s been a difficult time for the hospital and the community, Sandy Diamond, chairman of Johns Hopkins All Children’s board, said in a statement.
“Last winter, we promised to get to the bottom of what went wrong at the Heart Institute so that we could ensure that the failures that took place there never happen again,” Diamond said. “The report released today is an essential part of that process and provides an important roadmap for us as we work to constantly improve the care we give to our patients and rebuild trust with our community.”
Diamond said the hospital board looks forward to working with the monitor to ensure that the recommendations in the report are implemented.
By the numbers:
140,000 documents reviewed
119 individuals interviewed
76 general and detailed recommendations
6 month review process
Source: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP investigation recommendations