It had nothing to do with it. The hospital hired the Hunter Group LAST YEAR to make recommendations to help get it out of its fiscal crunch. (wonder how many millions it paid for that?). And these cuts were what the Hunter Group recommended. Its just so galling that especially in view of the state declaring that a healthy elective surgery pt died BECAUSE OF POOR STAFFING, the hospital made an announcement that it is going ahead with these staffing cuts anyway. The rest of the transplant programs remain in operation. Only the one adult-to-adult living donor transplant program has been suspended for 6 months - all the others continue - including pediatric. And the count for Mt Sinai transplant pt death cases being reopened by the NY State dept of health for further investigation to see if poor staffing and other preventable causes were to blame has risen to 28.
And STILL the hospital insists on making these cuts & that they will have no effect on pt care.
A previous news article posted here earlier gives the hospitals rationale for continuing the cuts which it started last Christmas - to save $25 million per year:
<<<NYSNA nurses at Mt Sinai are currently in contract negotiations and are attempting to develop solutions to the hospital's staffing problems but the management refuses to acknowledge any staffing dilemmas and is continuing with its plan to cut an estimated 450 positions....hospital leaders said the workforce reductions would have a 'minimal impact on bedside caregiving' and would enable the hospital to save approximately $25 million per year.
The facility also said the action would 'provide savings that will significantly reduce the hospital's current deficit and help meet Mt Sinai's long-term goal of achieving a strong financial platform'.
The workforce reductions include management and staff, the hospital said, and were made in response to recommendations by the Hunter Group, a healthcare financial consulting group retained by the Mt Sinai Board of Trustees in 2001 to help the medical center address financial shortcomings."
(Advance For Nurses - NY/NJ edition)
and THEN in todays newspaper (Easter Sunday):
(someday they will have the guts to print everything the nurses tell them, instead of just cutting it all down to generic surface comments, but its a start......)
<<<NURSES DISH THE 'DIRT' ON MOUNT SINAI
March 31, 2002 -- Senior nurses at Mount Sinai Medical Center say many sick patients don't get the bedside attention they need, and that the hospital's cleanliness has slid so far downhill even the operating theater is "dirty."
One veteran nurse told The Post that when she was a surgery patient at the Manhattan hospital she had to wait, in pain, after buzzing for help.
"You rang the bell and knew it was going to be awhile until somebody answered, and then awhile until they came," the nurse said. "If things got extremely busy or the staffing was short, it could be a long time."
The comments come at a time beleaguered Mount Sinai's liver-transplant unit is under investigation. The state Health Department has blasted the hospital for "woefully inadequate" care in the Jan. 13 death of Mike Hurewitz, 57, a newspaper reporter who choked on his own blood three days after giving half his liver to his ailing brother.
The state suspended live-donor transplants at the hospital for six months.
The department is also investigating 28 other deaths of liver recipients, including many who, like Hurewitz, developed infections in the hospital, officials said.
Mount Sinai told the state it has beefed up staffing and medical supervision on the liver ward, and proposed other improvements in a "plan of correction."
But the nurses, who are currently renegotiating their contracts, say patient care at the prestigious teaching hospital has gone downhill.
"It has the reputation of being one of the best, and patients must be surprised they don't receive the kind of care they should," said Therese Wittner, the New York State Nurses Association rep at the hospital.
In recent years, the cash-strapped hospital, which eliminated 450 jobs last month, has tried to save money by cutting nursing and housekeeping positions.
The hospital has also combined jobs such as transporting patients and cleaning rooms.
Even the operating room is neglected and not as "white glove" clean as it used to be, nurses said. Patients waiting to go into surgery are often left to watch as blood-stained gauze and other debris is hauled out, they said.
The ratio of patients to nurses is high all over the hospital, they said. Nurses caring for seven or eight patients at a time try to tend to the sickest first.
"When something untoward is happening with a patient, there's no guarantee somebody is going to be there instantly and do something about it," said Marva Wade, a Mount Sinai nurse for more than 30 years. >>>