By Julio Ochoa
More changes are coming for Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital after a comprehensive outside review delivered several recommendations for improvements.
The hospital underwent the review following a series of reports by the Tampa Bay Times documented problems in the facility’s heart institute, including a mortality rate among the young patients that had tripled between 2015 and 2017.
Johns Hopkins Health Systems hired an outside law firm -- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher -- to conduct the review and gave them access to the hospital’s records and employees.
The firm reviewed more than 140,000 documents and conducted 126 interviews.
“The hallmark of an institution's safety culture is how it responds to and corrects errors when they are made,” said Johns Hopkins Health System president Kevin Sowers. “At Johns Hopkins, we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that what happened never occurs again at any of our hospitals.”
The recommendations focus on four areas: strengthening the management and culture at the hospital; improving patient safety; standardizing oversight among Johns Hopkins' six hospitals; and reviewing the responsibilities of the boards that oversee the hospital and the health system.
The review recommended a commitment to patient safety and said the "see something, say something" culture is a vital part of that.
The hospital published the report on its website along with a video of Sowers talking about the results.
“Above all, we must work each and every day to support a culture in which each of us is supported and empowered to speak up and speak out,” Sowers said in the video.
He provided a toll free number where employees can anonymously report any issues: 1-844-SPEAK2US.
“If you have any concern about a patient safety issue, misconduct, a legal or unethical behavior or anything else, please call the Johns Hopkins medicine hotline,” Sowers said.
Problems with the hospital's heart institute did not come to light until they were reported in the Times. The stories prompted inquiries by federal and state regulators and led to the resignation of six top officials.