Parkland Board of Managers is stressing that patients should have full confidence in the county running Parkland Hospital.


However, after a July evaluation by 13 federal inspectors of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Parkland was placed on a "jeopardy" status meaning hundreds of millions of dollars in funding could be pulled from the facility.

The July report found that the hospital had serious violations in nine areas. Two issues were paramount: infection control and emergency room care.

Dr. Jay Shannon, Parkland's Chief Medical Officer, explains, "We have to tell the state and tell CMS how we're going to moniter the site to show that we're making improvement. We expect that they will not only survey the entire organization again, but that they'll look with a lazer focus on those areas that we had immediate jeopardy findings. As well they will expect us to produce evidence that we've educated staff."

Though the report by goverment investigators found that hospital staff were failing in significant areas such as hand-washing and patient transport, the hospital is promising changes.

"Changes that we're putting in place around acute emergency services and the changes that you'll see if you're a patient around hygiene and infection control," said Dr. Shannon. "That is people adhearing to these practices in front of your eyes. Taking off their gowns when they're done caring for you, washing their hands before and after when they're done caring for you."

Parkland  CEO Dr. Ron Anderson says they're already correcting the issues, and he's confident the CMS will accept Parkland's plan of action, education and monitoring. 

"There's been such a good faith effort here, and really I think this is an excellent plan," said Dr. Anderson. "CMS is not in the business of closing hospitals in some sort of mischievous way. They're looking for us to comply with the standards. I believe we are doing that. There are a lot of 'what ifs,' but our approach to this was saying we have to fix it. And let's fix it. We've got it done. And so I expect they'll be quite reasonable."

CMS will review Parkland's plan by early next week. Inspectors will return later this month. If Parkland fails a second inspection sometime in the next two weeks, the Dallas County public hospital could lose its Medicare and Medicaid funding with a threatened cutoff date of September 2, 2011. Considering that would be a reduction of hundreds of millions of dollars, 50 percent of the hospital's budget, Parkland administrators say losing those funds would be detrimental to Parkland Hospital.