Johns Hopkins All Children's to make sweeping changes following heart surgery unit investigation

St. Petersburg, Fla.-based Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital announced June 28 it will implement new policies and structural changes to address problems in the heart surgery unit, according to The Tampa Bay Times.

The hospital will institute new checks and balances on its president, a more thorough evaluation process for top executives, improved tracking of internal complaints and better monitoring of patient safety, among other measures. Top executives must report to the hospital president as well as Johns Hopkins health system leaders in Baltimore, who will increase their involvement in the hospital's hiring and disciplinary processes.

The Johns Hopkins Medicine board hired the law firm Gibson Dunn to investigate its heart surgery unit following an investigative report by The Tampa Bay Times in November 2018, which found 1 in 10 heart patients died and the mortality rate tripled at the hospital in 2017. The hospital's new policies reflect Gibson Dunn's recommendations for improvement.

A federal inspection has also found systemic issues at All Children's. An external consultant will oversee hospital improvements for 12 months, which allows the hospital to maintain public funding. National experts are also working on a plan to restart the heart surgery program, which closed in October 2018.

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