Opinion: Porter staff cuts have affected care

Recent statements by Porter Medical Center board Chairwoman Maureen McLaughlin and executive board member Patrick Norton represented a welcome change in tone from earlier statements made by Porter administrators.
Like so many others in town, I have nothing but good things to say about the care I have received at Porter over the past 20 years. However, I worry that the quality of that care may be getting compromised as a result of recent staffing cuts. I cite my own case as an example.
I recently experienced a frustrating and potentially harmful delay in service that was directly related to staff cuts. It took me a few days to figure out how a normally straightforward protocol could become such a complete muddle; but, once I did, I shared my suspicions with both the professional and support staff involved. They confirmed my suspicions. Staff cuts have seriously eroded staff’s ability to provide high quality patient care. There are simply not enough bodies to ensure positive outcomes.
If all of this sounds vague, it is intentionally so. The staff involved were happy to have me write about my experience, but were fearful that too much detail would make it easy for the administration to identify them. Sadly, they think that speaking out could cost them their jobs.
In the wider scheme of things, my situation was nothing but a blip. A year ago I would have dismissed it with a glib, “These things happen. Get over it.” The reality is that conditions that existed a year ago at Porter have changed, and that “these things” will likely occur with greater frequency.
David Colman

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