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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quality Improvement Needed

News reports just came out that a doctor had been shot at Johns Hopkins and that the shooter said he was upset about the treatment his mother had received there.
Having spent 15 years as a professor there, Johns Hopkins sees a spectrum of patients from all socioeconomic strata. Wealthy patients often try to improve the quality of care by donating money to various initiatives (for example, the famous case of the 2 year old burn victim who died of dehydration in the children's hospital, whose mother funded a quality and safety program there). It will be interesting to hear the shooter's story. While violence is never justified, the hospital may be able to learn something important about quality of care for the socioeconomically disadvantaged. AS Hopkins is a center for diversity research and the impact of race, ethnicity and socioeconomic status on the quality of care, many people on the Hopkins faculty should be well-equipped to help the administration find out some of the core triggers that in the presence of a violent man with a gun may endanger staff safety. It would be sad if the only thing that was done were more measures to protect staff from patients.

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