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No quick fix at King hospital

September 15, 2008

Re "10% at King had criminal records," Sept. 9

The L.A. County auditor-controller's department finds that 57% of King-Harbor Hospital workers failed at least one area of competency on their first try, 21% failed three or more skills on the first attempt, 30% failed the medication safety test and 18% failed a test of how they would deal with a code-blue patient.

Department of Health Services interim Director John Schunhoff's response to this stunning news is "that's something we are going to get outside independent help on."

This reader's response is: Been there, done that! First there was the Camden Group and then Navigant Consulting (both outside independent help) to the tune of nearly $20 million. What will it take to get the board to invoke substantial change? Will it take more tragic events, such as the death of Edith Rodriguez?

Genevieve M.

Clavreul, RN

Pasadena

I understand the popular appeal of your headline and its subtext of rampant governmental incompetence (or corruption) uncovered. But the numbers apparently include both convictions and arrests.

Not only are employers, such as L.A. County, not permitted to ask about arrests that do not result in convictions, but how does the reader -- let alone Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky -- know which were mere arrests and which convictions? And which relate to one's job performance and which were the equivalent of hunting without a license, illegal dumping, littering or drinking in a public park?

Vagueness may sell newspapers, but it doesn't advance knowledge.

John O'Donnell

Los Angeles

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