Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wash. Docs Issue No-Confidence Vote Against Yakima CEO

From Modern Physician Emphasis added in the third paragraph.

A group representing 260 physicians who practice at the two hospitals in Yakima, Wash., announced a vote of no confidence against the chief executive officer of Yakima Regional Medical and Cardiac Center.

The vote, announced Monday, was the latest in a string of actions taken by doctors against Yakima Regional and its CEO, Tim Trottier. The hospital, formerly a not-for-profit, was purchased two years ago by Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., and converted to a for-profit hospital. Since then, some doctors and nurses have been highly critical of changes made in hospital practices.

A recent investigation by the state Department of Health into allegations of patient-safety problems at Yakima Regional stemmed from complaints lobbied by all eight of the hospital's emergency room physicians who quit in June.

Details from a previous article:

Although he wouldn't admit to feeling vindicated, Yakima (Wash.) Regional Medical and Heart Center Chief Executive Officer Tim Trottier acknowledged that he was pleased by the findings of a state Department of Health investigation of his facility triggered by charges that patients were being put at risk.

"We are very grateful that we now have accurate information to present to the public about the quality of care that we offer," Trottier said.

The state publicly released its report Tuesday afternoon, and Trottier said it provided evidence that allegations of patient-safety risks were unfounded.

The eight physicians belonging to the Yakima Emergency Physicians group resigned at midnight on June 2 after citing unresolved patient-safety concerns caused by staffing cuts and difficulties with the hospital's new computerized records system. These concerns included mistakes in laboratory services and a risky patient transfer. The doctors were replaced immediately by physicians hired by EmCare, a Dallas-based emergency medicine management group.


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