Temple Strike Update: Care is Deteriorating

By Randy LoBasso
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Apr. 23, 2010

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Surprise! The Pennsylvania Department of Health has investigated “a lot” of complaints regarding Temple University Hospital since the strike started.

According to a piece in today’s Inky, PDOH deputy secretary Stacy Mitchell confirmed the complaints, but can’t release the information to potential patients until the middle of next month due to apparent federal regulations.

Here’s according to the Inky piece regarding time constraints:

"Mitchell said the Health Department had 10 days to investigate a complaint and write a statement of deficiency if an inspector thought the complaint was founded. The hospital then has 10 days to write a plan of correction. After that, the department and hospital can spend several more days haggling over the terms of the plan. Then it takes a while to post that plan on the department's Web site. All told, the process takes 45 to 60 days, Mitchell said."

This story isn’t so much news as an “I told you so” moment for the striking Temple healthcare workers. As detailed in earlier blogs and in the Inky, hospital deaths rise 19.4 percent and readmissions rise 6.5 percent during hospital strikes, according to a study done by an MIT professor and Carnegie Mellon student.

Another recent study by authors at UPenn found that 10-13 percent fewer surgical patients would die in Pennsylvania if nurse-to-patient ratios (part of what this strike is about) were lowered, as they’ve been done due to an evil, socialist mandate in California.

And while the healthcare workers on strike wanted more members, Temple Hospital has replaced the 1,500 employees with just 850 temporary workers (and the union has continually claimed the replacements would negatively effect care quality), so what do they expect?

No new negotiations have been planned between healthcare workers and hospital administration.

Check out this video by PW's Gustavo Martinez:


Temple University Hospital Nurses Strike Reaches Its Fourth Week: Growing Stronger from Gustavo Martinez on Vimeo.

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Comments 1 - 5 of 5
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1. ES said... on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:24AM

“I am not surprised that the Department of health has gotten a lot of complaints. Temple would rather pay strangers than bargain in good faith with it's own staff. They should be held accountable for what they are doing. All to break a union. Shame on Temple!!”

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2. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2010 at 11:51AM

“More and more waste of taxpayer dollars and less and less confidence by the thinking public...The patient, the hospital's reputation and the tax payers are all losers...the only winners appear to be Ms. Gomberg (and her cronies)...who by the way previously had admitted that the ER closed for at least 4 hours to orient the replacement workers...didn't she??????? When will Temple be held accountable for wasted money and poor outcomes...when???”

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3. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2010 at 12:11PM

“" 10-13 percent fewer surgical patients would die in Pennsylvania if nurse-to-patient ratios (part of what this strike is about)" Please...this is about nothing but greedy nurses wanting more money. Have you seen how much they make? Ridiculous for them to ask for more money. That union is out of its mind. Unions used to be good back in the 50's through the 80's, but now they're ruining this country.”

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4. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2010 at 01:08PM

“#3 apparently you have been fortunate but between the two of them my children have had 20 plus surgeries...I want stats in their favor to be recognized and not ignored...stop making it abut the union...make it about the best outcomes for patients....besides...I pay a hell of a lot in taxes and waste absolutely makes me furious.......................
And tghey only looked at surgical patients inthat study, what abut heart, stroke etc...the faster things get noticed the better the outcome...the more nurses per patient should mean more visits to individual patients and therefore quicker recognition of deteriorating factors...it is common sense mixed with a very small amount of intelligence that makes the claims of that study sensible and should make patients stand up and ask why not???”

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5. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2010 at 01:53PM

“oh man look at those scabs taking photos while patients run away from them and the jeopardize an entire community!
guess they want something to remeber their stay here in philly.”


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