Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Texas-sized shoot-out

It has been some time since I reported on the Parkland Memorial Hospital saga.  A new article about things in Dallas draws us back to events in Texas.

Here's the title: "Ask the Editor: DMN Managing Editor George Rodrigue responds to accusations from UT Southwestern's Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky".  Here's the link.  Here's the lede:

Our Sunday story on patient safety indicators among Texas’ larger hospitals drew a rather heated response from Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern Medical Center. His University Hospital-St. Paul finished rather badly in the standings, and Dr. Podolsky accused us of cooking the books. His theories are incorrect – we played it straight, and we included all the necessary caveats about the limitations of our data – but maybe, if you care about journalism or health care, you’ll find our dialogue to be an interesting debate. As usual in these cases, we’ve printed Dr. Podolsky’s full comments below, along with our response.

I am sure that public relations consultants across the country are viewing this as a case study in media relations.


Anonymous said...

Quite frankly I did not have the interest to analyze the data and the criticisms by the President closely enough to draw a conclusion, but one statement in the President's rebuttal caught my eye:

"Patient safety is obviously an important quality measure, but it is only one of the four quality domains essential to a thoughtful, credible analysis."

Umm? One might question this statement at face value alone, but does that also mean UT did better on the other 3, so is trying to minimize this one?
I just got the impression that if there was cherry-picking of data, it was going on on both sides.


Gail Kerr said...

After reading this latest report I was left shaking my head, thinking "Well, they don't believe in global warming in Texas, either."