Texas hospital bans workers from reading critical newspaper series

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The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that administrators of the county’s public hospital system have banned workers from reading a newspaper series critical of the system – at least while they are at work. The paper reports that the hospital system blocked internet access to the Star-Telegram.com site.

The newspaper says that three of its reporters spent four months examining the JPS Health Network.

The series, which began last week, opened like this in part one:

“The waiting room reeked. Along a crowded hallway, patients lay in beds, with only a thin curtain for privacy. Nurses readying for a new case in surgery noticed blood, bone and globules of fat on the walls and floor and stuck to wheels of carts.

Chance brought to the hospital teenagers from car wrecks, fathers hurt on the job, police officers injured in the line of duty. Others — the poor — came because they believed they had nowhere else to go.

They were greeted last year at an overburdened emergency department where the staff could be robotic and hardened to patients. Sometimes, inexperienced nurses evaluated the sick and suffering.

Some patients were shuffled to a stifling back room to wait. Medical records, crucial lab results — even patients — got lost. Staff didn’t notice when one Alzheimer’s patient walked home in 100-degree heat. Another patient was dismissed because doctors didn’t get lab results indicating a life-threatening disease.

The trauma center was described as a war zone. Operating rooms as chaotic. In too many places, instruments were broken, rooms dirty, linens threadbare.

Welcome to a hospital flush with cash and rife with problems. Welcome to John Peter Smith Hospital, hub of the Tarrant County Hospital District.

Boosted by tax funding other local hospitals don’t get, JPS has been racking up fat surpluses — nearly $97 million last year alone.

But the cash has not helped a dedicated core of doctors and nurses overcome the system’s callousness, ineptitude and filth. JPS is a hospital that many of its own doctors wouldn’t recommend.”

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May 8, 2008 at 10:32 pm

Ok, this is simply crazy. This is 2008, come on guys, you can’t stop people to access information.
Sorry Gay, but what can we expect now?
Banning workers from reading a newspaper? Is this a US thing or a Texas policy?
Very sad.