Summa physicians: Patient care still high-quality despite system turmoil

Forty-nine physicians affiliated with Akron, Ohio-based Summa Health System sent a signed letter to the Akron Beacon Journal to state their confidence in the quality of care being provided by the system's emergency room physicians.

"We can say with full confidence that we stand by the safety and quality of the care being provided by our emergency room colleagues," the letter said, according to a report from the Akron Beacon Journal.

The physicians felt the need to speak out after nine registered nurses voiced concerns about the quality of care being provided by physicians from U.S. Acute Care Solutions, a newly contracted physician staffing group. Summa Health abruptly ended its contract with longtime partner Summa Emergency Associates on Jan. 1 and switched to the national group, which has led to 11 weeks of turmoil. Since the physician group switch, President and CEO Thomas Malone, MD, resigned, the system's emergency medicine residency program was put on immediate probation and the Joint Commission investigated patient safety concerns. The nurses recently spoke out about concerns the new physicians were out of practice or unprepared to work in a regional trauma center.

The 49 physicians told the Akron Beacon Journal they did not wish to dispute the nurses concerns and that those claims should be investigated and addressed. However, they wrote they have not seen quality decline since the ER physician switch.

"We will continue to recommend our friends and family to Summa doctors and hospitals for high-quality care, and we will make every effort to ensure that the recent disruption does not ruin our community's best local healthcare asset," the letter concludes, according to the report.

Read the full story here.


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