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CMC releases report following independent review, and recommended action steps


Catholic Medical Center. File Photo

MANCHESTER, NH — Catholic Medical Center (CMC) announces the independent review of CMC’s cardiac surgery program and administrative processes is complete and has produced several key findings and recommendations.  In line with CMC’s commitment to transparency, the Board is releasing the full report to the public as of June 7.

Last fall, after media reports questioned the safety of CMC’s cardiac surgery program, the CMC Board of Trustees (Board) engaged Horty Springer & Mattern (HortySpringer), nationally known in the healthcare industry for providing legal services and advice to hospitals and health systems, to conduct a thorough, independent review. The Board asked HortySpringer to evaluate a number of areas around the quality and safety of CMC’s cardiac surgery program, as well as past and present policies, processes and procedures related to the medical staff, hospital administration, and Board.

The Board created a special committee to work with HortySpringer. That committee was charged with overseeing and facilitating a comprehensive review. HortySpringer interviewed more than 90 current and former providers, employees, administrators, Board members and others, and reviewed hundreds of thousands of pages of documents over seven months.  In addition, HortySpringer independently engaged NorthGauge Healthcare Advisors to perform a clinical overview of CMC’s cardiac program.

The review finds that the current cardiac surgery program at CMC is top-tiered and high functioning with excellent outcomes. The review also finds CMC’s expert medical staff, nurses and support staff create a strong foundation for the consistent delivery of high-quality care. HortySpringer further concludes that allegations of data manipulation are unfounded, as are claims that CMC placed profits over patient safety, or deliberately withheld information from the Board or medical staff leaders.

However, the review identifies significant organizational shortcomings that must be changed and improved. This includes an overhaul of the peer review process and quality management programs, as well as increased oversight and accountability. The report also identifies the need for improved communication and efforts to mend a perceived culture of distrust and retaliation.  The review provides specific recommendations for addressing these areas.

The Board has charged President & CEO Alex Walker to immediately begin implementing these recommendations. The implementation plan will be a collaboration of the Board, Medical Executive Committee (MEC), and administration that ensures transparency and maintains open communication, identifies priorities and resources required, a timeline, and measures of accountability.

“The report affirms the high quality of our cardiac program, and the expertise and dedication of our staff.  But the report also highlights shortcomings with processes, oversight and culture that must be addressed.  As a board and as an institution, we must hold ourselves accountable and learn what could have been done better.  This report provides a roadmap for what CMC must do to improve, and we are fully committed to doing just that,” said CMC Board Chair Timothy Riley

“I accept the findings of this independent review and I take responsibility for them, especially those areas where we have fallen short and could have done better. I am committed to building on the strengths identified in the report and working to implement the recommendations necessary for us to improve and move forward,” said CMC President & CEO Alex Walker.

“I look forward to collaborating with the Medical Executive Committee, the medical staff, our hospital teams, and the Board on the implementation plan.  We are already acting on several recommendations, starting with a national search for a new Chief Medical Officer, a key leadership position that will provide fresh perspectives,” Walker said.

Diocese of Manchester’s Bishop Peter Libasci acknowledged the hospital’s leadership for it’s timely response.

“I commend the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Alex Walker, the medical staff, and the rest of the senior leadership team for their prompt response to the report and the steps they already have taken to begin acting on the HortySpringer recommendations. As the report notes, CMC is staffed by talented doctors, nurses, and care teams, and I am thankful for healthcare professionals who have dedicated much, especially in recent years. I feel certain that the work that is done to improve CMC will build on the excellent foundation already established, and that this work will further advance CMC’s mission of delivering compassionate care to our community,” Libasci said.

Report Link: https://cmc-commitment.com/report


About this Contributor

Catholic Medical Center

Catholic Medical Center (CMC), a member of GraniteOne Health, is a nonprofit acute-care hospital and regional health system based in Manchester, New Hampshire, with a commitment to delivering the highest quality and most advanced healthcare to patients across the state.

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