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Longtime insider believes in Sharp Grossmont Hospital

Union Tribune (2008-08-24) Bob Yarris

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Longtime insider believes in Sharp Grossmont Hospital

August 24, 2008

By Bob Yarris

Reading and hearing the recent media attention around the unfortunate situations at Grossmont Hospital, I am compelled to share a few observations and precautions.

I began working at the hospital in 1977, spent 15 years as an employee, the last five in administration and have had the pleasure and privilege to serve on both the Grossmont Healthcare District and hospital corporate board of directors since 1992. In all sincerity, I would like to extend my condolences to all the families and loved ones related to the tragic situation reported in the news. I am truly sorry for your loss.

Let me first and foremost state how fortunate we are as a community to have such a valuable asset in our own back yard. Not only do we have one of the finest hospitals in the state, with a long-standing history of program excellence and national recognition, but we are blessed with dedicated, passionate employees, volunteers and an outstanding, competent medical and nursing staff.

Some 18 years ago, prior to the affiliation with Sharp Health Care, Grossmont was in very serious financial difficulty. Employee morale was lower and the financial problems compromised patient care. On balance, the 17-year relationship with Sharp Health Care has meant significantly improved employee and physician satisfaction, and patient care outcomes.

Is there more work to be done? Absolutely. Notwithstanding the more recent, unfortunate and untimely patient tragedies, I am convinced that both boards, the medical staff and administration will take every corrective action and measure necessary to prevent these events from recurring. That said, the business of medicine and health care is not a perfect science and will remain vulnerable to human error, here and at the most renowned hospitals across the country. Everyone here has pledged to continuous quality patient care improvements at all times.

From my perspective, as a long-term concerned board member, I can assure you I do not believe there was malice on the part of administration or the directors in this matter. Yes, the communication between both boards could have been better and it will be. The business of running a hospital is one of the most demanding and complex challenges in this country. Unlike most businesses, there are life and death issues the staff must face hourly. It would have made little difference in these patient outcomes, unfortunately, if both boards had been insightfully and fully aware of all the specific patient care details in these cases.

The important focus at this time is to address the need to improve patient care outcomes and not create further discourse between the two boards, which, by the way, have worked passionately the past 12 years to develop improved communication and effective teamwork. The success of the recent Proposition G bond issue is one example.

As a resident of East County for more than 30 years, I will continue with full confidence to take my family to Sharp Grossmont Hospital when, and if, the need arises, and hope you continue to share the same sustained confidence that I do.

It is important during these difficult and challenging times that we show ongoing support for our employees and physicians, as well as the entire leadership team. I encourage everyone to commit to the continuation of building bridges and wasting no more time tearing them down.

Yarris is director emeritus of the Grossmont Healthcare District Board. He has served as well on the Sharp Grossmont Hospital board of directors from 1992 to present.

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Title Longtime insider believes in Sharp Grossmont Hospital
Publisher Union Tribune
Author Bob Yarris
Pub Date 2008-08-24
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Keywords Grossmont Healthcare Board
Media Type Linked Article
Curator Rating Plain
Author Name Sortable
Topic revision: r2 - 16 Sep 2009, RaymondLutz
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