By Stephanie Terrell
Parkland Health & Hospital System has been under public scrutiny since a federal review was conducted to investigate the hospital’s policies and practices. Specifically, Parkland’s emergency room was being inspected for patient care procedures.
The review, done by federal inspectors, found the hospital had major deficiencies in controlling infections and stabilizing emergency room patients. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services decided Parkland cannot maintain its Medicare/Medicaid status unless the issues found by federal regulators are corrected.
Parkland Hospital’s shortcomings included lack of proper infection control and lack of screenings given to emergency room patients by appropriate medical technicians. Currently, Parkland has submitted a corrective action plan that addresses the main concerns about the quality of their health and safety practices.
This plan includes guidelines for qualification to give patient screenings as well as education of correct hygiene and waste disposal procedures. There will be reviews of procedures and policies for nursing staff and re-education for all staff about medical documentation. The disposal of outdated medical supplies will be monitored and employees will properly store medical equipment.
Due to the close proximity of TWU’s Dallas campus and the Parkland Hospital, students may wonder whether the investigations will affect them. “There is no direct impact on TWU students,” Stephanie Woods, associate dean of the TWU Dallas Center College of Nursing said. “The investigations are being handled by the CMS which does not affect the day-to-day workings of the hospital.”
Although TWU students may not be directly affected by the investigations, the modifications made to the hospital’s policies and procedures could benefit students seeking future employment or working on their clinical hours. Clinical hours are time required of nursing students, as well as other health service students, in which the student must volunteer in an approved working environment. Clinical hours can be done in locations such as nursing homes, hospices or hospitals such as Parkland.
“What we will see down the line is an improvement of core processes in the hospital and a better working environment for the students,” said Woods.
To learn more about the corrective plan being implemented by Parkland Hospital, students can visit http://www.parklandhospital.com/whoweare/cms_survey/index.html.