- Associated Press - Thursday, June 9, 2016

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A leading University of Louisville surgeon says staffing cuts at U of L Hospital since a private company took over its management have made it unsafe, and that the hospital has “never been worse” in his 34 years at the facility.

In an email to the university’s top health officials, Dr. J. David Richardson, vice chair of surgery and the current president of the American College of Surgeons, says the hospital is facing “major” safety issues, reported The Courier-Journal (https://cjky.it/1PiCGFg).

The hospital is poorly staffed at night, resulting in emergency room crowding, Richardson said. The Intensive Care Unit, he said, is understaffed as well.

Furthermore, Richardson said it’s “virtually impossible” to do clinic research in the hospital. One approved study was canceled last week because of inadequate nurse staffing, resulting in a “major embarrassment” for the hospital, he said.

The only solution, according to Richardson, is to cut ties with the company that took over hospital management in 2013 and laid off several employees shortly thereafter.

“They are destroying the hospital,” Richardson said of KentuckyOne Health.

KentuckyOne Health responded in a statement that UHL is an “excellent hospital with a dedicated and talented team of professionals that is staffed to meet the patient’s needs.”

The company also said it wants to continue the partnership, which it says is “generating positive trends on key performance measures, particularly in comparison with other academic medical centers nationwide.”

In its own statement, the university suggested it agrees with Richardson’s observations. The university has had discussions with the company regarding staffing issues, said U of L Health Science Center spokesman Gary Mans.


Information from: The Courier-Journal, https://www.courier-journal.com



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