Johns Hopkins removes All Children's Hospital leaders after patient surgery deaths
John Hopkins Medicine has removed four top leaders at Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla., after reported dramatic increases in the hospital's death rates for pediatric heart surgeries.
At least 11 children died following procedures over an 18-month period starting in mid-2016, despite warnings from staff to hospital supervisors about quality problems in the hospital's cardiac surgery program, the Tampa Bay Times reported late last month.
Johns Hopkins Medicine, which took over the hospital in 2011, announced Tuesday that All Children's President Dr. Jonathan Ellen, Vice President Jackie Crain, and cardiovascular surgery chief Dr. Jeffrey Jacobs had resigned. Dr. Paul Colombani resigned as surgery department chair, and his name was removed from the hospital's website.
Kevin Sowers, president of Johns Hopkins Health System, will step in and lead All Children's on a temporary basis. Two surgical leaders from Balitmore-based Johns Hopkins, Dr. George Jallo and Dr. Paul Danielson, will take over temporarily as physician-in-chief and surgery department chair, respectively.
The Johns Hopkins board has commissioned a comprehensive external review of the problems within All Children's cardiac surgery program.
"We are devastated when children suffer," Johns Hopkins Medicine said in a written statement. "Losing a child is something no family should have to endure, and we are committed to learning everything we can about what happened at the Heart Institute, including a top-to-bottom evaluation of its leadership and key processes. The events described in recent news reports are unacceptable."
The Times reported that Johns Hopkins shook up the All Children's cardiac surgery program in 2012 by bringing in new surgery leaders to replace existing leaders in the St. Petersburg hospital's respected program. The former president of the hospital's critical-care group blamed that shakeup for the surgical program's subsequent quality problems.
All Children's is the latest hospital where severe quality of care problems led to the ouster of top hospital leaders.
Last year, the CEO of Swedish Health Services in Seattle resigned following a Seattle Times investigation into patient safety issues at the system's neurosurgery institute.
In 2015, the CEO of St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., resigned following a CNN investigation into problems in the hospital's pediatric cardiothoracic surgery program. That program was shut down.
This past summer, the CMS cut off federal payments to Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center's heart transplant program following a Houston Chronicle/ProPublica investigation into patient deaths and other poor outcomes.
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