Why are executives who have no contact with patients the fastest growing segment of the workforce at University of California hospitals? Patients are being put in jeopardy by chronic understaffing. Numerous safety violations, an investigation by the California legislature and the recent death of a patient at UCSD have made clear that more frontline workers are needed to disinfect operating areas and ensure quality care for patients.
But recent management decisions have left UC hospitals dangerously understaffed, leading to a flurry of safety violations and an investigation by the California legislature. UCLA recently received its second substandard patient safety rating in as many years, and understaffing likely played a role in the death of a patient at UCSD who wasn’t properly supervised, wandered out of the hospital and died nearby. There have been 11 formal findings of “immediate jeopardy” by the department of public health at UC Irvine and UCSF. At the same time, executive compensation across the UC health system has soared.
UC needs safe staffing committees in every department that can enforce the highest quality standards of care. UC must stop contracting out frontline care to inexperienced temps and volunteers. And UC must invest its hospital profits into hiring more career professionals, so that it is properly equipped for the millions of Californians who will soon gain access to healthcare for the first time through the Affordable Care Act.
It’s time to TAKE BACK UC from profiteering managers and PROTECT OUR PATIENTS!