Howard University Hospital is a healthier institution than it was a decade ago. I was troubled by the March 26 front-page article “Howard: A hospital’s turmoil,” specifically the accusations of gaps in care and patient safety. The article included dated information and focused on cases that were years old. It ignored the current quality of the hospital’s services.
In 2014, Howard University set forth on a deliberate turnaround plan in partnership with Paladin Healthcare Management. This plan has been remarkably successful. Proof is in the key performance metrics: Emergency department length of stay has fallen by more than 20 percent; time to triage has fallen by 78 percent; and patient satisfaction has improved dramatically. We have realized quality improvements in virtually all appropriate care measures. Our financial performance has vastly improved; the hospital is profitable and stable. The hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission and boasts 20 residency programs.
Howard University Hospital, a “safety net” institution, is an asset to the community. We serve high-risk, severely ill patients with advanced diseases, many of whom went without health care earlier in their disease. Each week, hospital personnel are making contributions to the community, including medical presentations, free health screenings and health fairs. The hospital is admired throughout the world for these services. Our commitment to and reputation for community health and serving high-risk, underserved patient populations is unwavering and unimpeachable.
James A. Diegel, Washington
The writer is chief executive of
Howard University Hospital.