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JPS details response to recent inspections

FORT WORTH -- Surprise inspections identified dozens of deficiencies at JPS Health Network, JPS administrators told a hospital board committee today.

Problems with patient privacy, infection control and records managements were among 36 "areas of improvement" identified during the investigations last month by the Texas Department of State Health Services and The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals to qualify for federal funding, administrators said.

But administrators said they will not release full reports about the problems to the public. Interim Chief Executive Robert Earley said he decided to keep the reports private after consulting with the hospital district's general counsel and state health officials.

"These reports all boil down to patient care," Earley said. "I think the policy will be to release as much information as possible. That's why this discussion took place in the open session that it did."

JPS is working to correct all the problems that were identified, and efforts to comply with state and federal health regulations will continue through the summer, said Kristin Jenkins, senior vice president who oversees quality and compliance issues at the taxpayer-supported hospital district.

"They are works in progress," she said. "Some of them are complicated. ... Some that are more complex will go on for some time.”

JPS board member Tanya Veasey urged JPS administrators to use to reports as a guide to make improvements.

"I think just a message to the staff: I would not be embarrassed by this report. ... It is an opportunity to improve some things," she said. "I think that we need to be in the business of providing the services that are needed and to take these reports and learn from them."