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on Aug 12, 2010
I would seriously like to thank Ken Graham and all those other stellar executives @ ECH who have made such stellar financial decisions over the past couple of years and of course making it possible to lay off all of those workers that were responsible for your ever so humble income & bonuses.. Over 5 years of service out the window.
Are all of the layoffs in Mountain View or are some of them at the Los Gatos facility? Is the Los Gatos facility (which is outside of the boundaries of the El Camino Hospital District) helping or hurting the bottom line of this taxpayer-funded hospital district?
According to some of the recent numbers that I have heard off, the Los Gatos facility is affecting the profitability of the Mountain View campus in a negative manner. I've only heard of 1 layoff at the Los Gatos campus, all of the rest will come from Mountain View. Also, these numbers probably do not reflect all of the per diem staff, of which, some were let go a couple weeks ago with no notice at all.
As a long term employee who has spent years lifting the hospital to its Top Hospital status, by performing and modeling "The El Camino Way", remaining positive to patients and others during the long construction, then transitioning to the new hospital very smoothly, I am sickened to now have my job on a sixty day string.
I wonder how much upper management will be given lay off notices? Those are the salaries that could make an impact.
Do you suppose the high management that are left will be able to perform the jobs of those who take care of the patients they want to keep and those you want to gain? Our comparatively small wages are minor compared to these high salaried individuals.
This is what my taxes are paying for? Why am I paying for a hospital in Los Gatos? Who is running this organization anyway?
Executive Salaries = $ 3,389,464.00
one question: how do you sleep at night?
I don't think you are pay taxes. Isn't it a private (non-profit) hospital? What taxes go to the hospital?
All very unfortunate and so very sad....makes me sick to know that the building of a new hospital was more important than the people that work in the hospital...
Maybe that should have been considered before breaking ground on a new facility...I'm sure it was all foreseen, had to have been, but they went ahead anyway....very saddening
Manny - Of course you pay taxes for this hospital. Here's an article from the Voice that goes into some detail, which includes how the District tried to cheat taxpayers: Web Link
There are plenty of other sources on the internet that describe how you are being taxed for El Camino Hospital.
"All very unfortunate and so very sad....makes me sick to know that the building of a new hospital was more important than the people that work in the hospital.."
This statement says it all.
I understand it is always tough to lay off people...but hey patient volume is down...more people than work to do... it is tough but that is life... people at your local resturants have to go through that a lot recently I don't see such emotion for them... But hey lets affect a Union job (like a nurse) and people post these damning comments......in fact this article was slanted...since it notes 21 nurses but lumped in the rest of the workers.....what MV Voice doesn't really care if the part time kitchen staff is let go?
Folks, please also remember that El Camino was under state mandate to upgrade the facility for seismic strength. As with many kinds of public agencies money for capital projects is separate from money for operations. If patient loads are down due to recession impacts on elective procedures and insurance payments, why keep everyone working. Unions generate layoffs because wage reductions are hard to negotiate with a union. I heard the hosipatl is losing $1 Million a week, so if the executives started working for free, layoffs would be forestalled for less than one month based on the number posted above. For perspective, in our small private company in Santa Clara, we've been working on 20% salary reduction for most of this year, instead on laying off anyone.
I guess that like the City, the Hospital a great retirement and benefits program negotiated by the Unions.
Sometimes the best cost saving measure is to spend a little. For over 10 year the Leap Frog Group of Fortune 500 companies has advocated the implementation of Intensivists. Since the Leap Frog recommendation, additional literature has been published to suggest that a corps of 24/7 in-house Intensivists improve outcomes; most notably cost of care. When we consider that 80% of Americans will die passing through an ICU and that each of us spend the vast majority of our healthcare dollars in our last days of our lives, wouldn't it make sense for El Camino to prioritize the establishment of this Intensivist model and then pass the savings forward into retaining our highly-skilled employees at the Hospital?
Another cost reduction could be realized, if this group if Intensivists and other healthcare leaders headed up a Palliative Care and Advanced Directives team. The most atrocious and expensive care is the brand that is delivered to the floridly demented and infirm simply because honest, informed discussions never occur in this country regarding DNR and end-of-life issues. Each of us should ask, "how do I want to LIVE!?" and we should be prepared to honor how our loved ones want(ed) to live when their wishes weren't layed out ahead of time.
ECH was required to build the new hospital or shut down..so you can't blame it on that or it would have been 3000 jobs instead of 140. No one at ECH makes less than 17 dollars an hour and any part or full time employees get medical/dental and vision benefits for themselves and their families..I believe the full time employees get it premium free..they also give PTO and tuition reimbursement..I just think they can't afford all this..nurses there are making 50/60 an hour and many of them take advantage of all the overtime..nurses there are easily making 6 figures and many of them are travel nurses that don't really live in California but took on status in order to get the money. Pretty much all the positions at ECH besides Administrative are union..The unions REFUSE to give up ANYTHING and in fact DEMAND pay raises. ECH cannot meet those demands and because unions don't back down, the alternative is lay offs. Look at the City of San Jose and the firefighters. The union would rather have it's members join the unemployment line than give up a little, even if the little they give up equals more than unemployment! People in the corporate world have been without raises for the last two years..welcome to our world.
And then there's the advertising budget for full-color ads in local papers and bus stops. Perhaps a community budget council might be in order.
WHATEVER IT TAKES!
Just to show how stupid the CEO is; he couldn't even get the font size right for the new name badges. After getting new badges, we all had to go back and get another one because the font wasn't big enough. With all these EDUCATED people, you would think they could get it right the first time. That's just 1 of many stupid things they didn't get right the 1st time.
Why don't you cut these fancy dinners for administration. You hire an executive chef to cook for you. That's an expence that could be cut. The patients aren't benefitting from this. Come down to earth. Bring a potluck.
The reality is that El Camino Hospital is not diffrent than other healthcare institutions in terms of competition, marketing, expenses and the like. One would hope that the ELECTED hospital board is sincerely and honesly evaluating the effectiveness of current hopsital leaders. Questions should include:
1. Is it in the best interest of the hospital DISTRICT to maintain it's ownership of Los Gatos in terms of future profitability?
2. Is it ethical to give bonus money to employees at ANY level where the business model is quality healthcare.
3. Is it necessary to continue garnering awards that show no demonstrable increase in patient census/income. The recent Magnet Award for nusing excellence is a costly endeavor. I understand that several employees are sent out of state for a MAGNET workshop with all expenses paid for by the district.
4. The ECLIPSYS computer healthcare system has been an extremely costly endeavor over the past three years. MANY paid employee hours were devoted to providing hands on experience. Ask any RN working in clinical areas and they will admit that the system devalues nursing care and pulls their time away from patient care
5. Consultants abound! An audit of hopsital expenses should be performed to uncover the number and feasibility of paid consultations done over the past three ears.
6. Let's consider the newly constructed hospital expenses, overhead and "fluff" design. Did the hospital REALLY have to showcase robots delivering supplies? Did everyone at the hospital have to be outfitted with a personal department phone to aovid overhead pages. ReallY, is it a hospital or a hotel? The aversion to pages is an espensive marketing ploy which has been extremely dissatisfying to employees.
7. What is the margin of newly hired, non nursing/medical staff to RN staff? When the community comes to the hospital, isn't it an RN/physician that they seek comfort from? When did we become a business instead of a hopsital
8. Given the economy, why were there no brakes placed on spending two-three years ago?
9. Executive bonus/salries have continued to rise and now, despite salaryfreezes and bonus delation, who's going to report and recuce executive pay? It appears that ECH is no different than wall street. Fox in the henhouse!
10. Let's talk marketing. What is the cost of having our hospital personnel photos plastered throughout Silicon Vally buses, bus-stops and the like. What's THAT cost? My kids schoool can't even afford one professional banner!!!
Let's face it, someone needs to kick *#**#* and expose the shortocmings of our great hospital institutional executives before it's too late to save it! The same clowns who got the hosptial into this mess seem to think they can get themselves out. Sort of like Wall Street and ENRON, don't ya think????
I work as a RN at El Camino and I am not sure yet whether I wil lose my job but I know many of my colleagues who will, including some fabulous housekeeping and kitchen staff. The financial deficit at El Camino has nothing to do with the recession, it is due to the fact that the hospital financially over extended itself with the building of two brand new hospitals. At El Camino Mountain View, the lobby looks like the Ritz Carlton and has a man playing a grand piano. Not to mention there are robots cruising around the hallways of the hospital that are completely useless. Maybe they could sell a few robots to save a few employees their jobs!!! Or possibly cutting down on advertising expenses? Why does a hospital need to have full page color ads in the newspaper and ads on the side of buses? Also, nurses have been asked to "conserve" linens, which basically means to not change the sheets between patients.
I agree that the census is down, but that is because it is summertime. I guarantee we did not have a low census during the swine flu epidemic last year. The upcoming fall/winter months will bring the census back up when flu season hits again.
El Camino Hospital is laying off 50 nurses after we just received our recertification for Magnet status for "Nursing Excellence" last month. El Camino is one of the few hospitals in California that has gained this status. Prior to the Magnet committee's visit, administration put the nurses through weeks of training sessions to pound into our heads that we needed to answer all of the Magnet committee's questions "appropriately" and we were told exactly how to answer questions about how much we loved working at El Camino. Is it coincidence that they waited until we received this award before they lay off their hard-working nurses that got them the Magnet status? I think not...
El Camino Hospital's taking over the Los Gatos Facility obviously contributed to this.
Just take a walk through the new building and you can see indulgence and overspending everywhere. The lobby looks like the Four Seasons. I walked passed an electronic grand piano playing to an empty hall. In one waiting area, I sat under about six flat panel screens which sat side by side showing panoramic footage of horses in a field and other nature scenes. I did not even notice them at first until I heard a horse neigh then looked around. That must have cost a fortune. I saw more flat screen "moving posters" throughout the place where a framed poster would have been perfectly fine. Why such extravagant decor?
Did they really have to build the El Camino Taj Mahal? This edifice of grandeur will not add to the care of any patients. Maybe the top managment should come down from their lofty perches and face the hard working staff and listen to their concerns about patient care.
Also, why not freeze all bonuses for 3 years and use that savings to save some of these jobs!
I wonder what Don Francis would write in his editorial if he were still with the Voice. Oh wait, he was hired by ECH as the media guy to spin lay-offs in a most favorable and justifiable light...
ECH had open pockets for consultants to instruct the leadership how to do their jobs draining the hospital of MILLIONS of dollars for YEARS. Why skimp now in finding a professional separation group instead of the ineffective Human Resources department which had zero reductions and offers no information to staff? Instead of a humane reduction, staff at every hospital site is upset, confused and is in limbo and it will last for months. What little patient traffic coming in will feel this and it will not help business.
Why were notices not given out to ALL employees when rumblings of layouts were on the horizon MONTHS ago and final checks ready on Friday so we could move out and move on? Is torture the newest service ECH has to offer?
Also the entire Human Resources department should just be outsourced. They have been underserving for decades.
ECH's downfall is self-made. Mis-steps by current management will continue, no matter how many consultants they hire. The number one mistake was to bid for the Los Gatos hospital - a defunct hospital owned Tenet Health. To date, Los Gatos still do not have enough patient volume to break even. The acquisition of Los Gatos is a black-hole sucking good money away. The brand new hospital at Mountain View looks nice but that is about it. Many things do not work properly. Just ask any employee whether the showers in the patients' room are functional. The shower floors are not properly graded, that is, water will flow out into the adjacent room - what a monumental joke! And this is just one small example. ECH has 22 robots on hand to make deliveries. What a total waste. And don't let that Nursing Magnet status fool you - it has nothing to do with quality patient care! As one nurse explained in an earlier post, answers were doled out beforehand. I wish school was so easy, but, that would be cheating. So, ask any ECH nurse what significance the "Magnet" status hold for patient care. If it has nothing to do with patient care, who gives a damn. ECH tends to keep incompetent employees and dismiss the qualified ones. For instance, a pharmacy technician was caught cheating on his time card. He was placed on probation or "rehab" and is now back on the job fulltime. Honesty and responsibility is not required or upheld. The bottom line is, the number one quality of any management is "vision", unfortunately, management at ECH proved to be very short-sighted. Mountain View residents, you are paying for it and thus you deserve an explanation. Go and demand it.
It's great that the hospital went hi-tech, but did everyone have to become robots? Where's the patient interaction? That was the best part of the job. Moral has been bad ever since we moved to the new hospital. I's sad.
I am thankful we have a beautiful hospital, which is how hospitals should be. For those of you that have complained maybe you should go to Valley Medical, or Kaiser.
Please get your facts straight before you add your comments. Los Gatos has made money this past year! Do your research on why ECH bought LG and you might have more knowledge.
I second the last comment. Employees of Los Gatos have busted their butts this last year for the greater good of the organization and to ensure the residents of the community can have a warm, friendly and caring environment to receive their healthcare. They have endured a lot of negative comments and lack of support from their relatives up the road, but in the end have contributed over 1 million profit to the business at years end.
@ vfree: no one who was hired after 1996 has a pension. ECH only offers the option for a 403b. No no, not a good comparison with the city.
@T: the hospital is still in the black. It needs to honor the remainder of the CBA which expires in 2011. The hospital jumped the gun (again) and announced lay offs when they could have saved all this bad press by requesting the union for salary and benefit reductions. No such request was made.
@Joanne and Upset RN: right on! You hit the nail on the head!!
Lays off everywhere, Queen of the Valleyy has had layoffs. The new Hosiptal was planned and designed awhile ago, but big bosses shoud not be taking pay rasies and other perks at the moment
Let me see - the Los Gatos takeover was not suppose to increase expenses - yet management all got substantial raises after that because they were now responsible for 'a larger organization'. So .. now that they have shrunk - let us taxpayers see a 10% across the board management salary decrease. The city manager of MV can do this - let us see the management do it at the Hospital District. Trustees - if not - force a salary decrease at their next employment contract review!
I doubt that all layers of management only make $3.4 million.
VOICE SEEKS TO INTERVIEW HOSPITAL LAYOFFS
The Voice is seeking employees of El Camino Hospital who either know they will be laid off or are afraid they may be among the 140 employees the hospital has said will be let go.
Please contact me, Nick Veronin, at email@example.com if you would like to share your story.
To the person that is glad we have a beautiful hospital; beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It could have been beautiful without the expense. El Camino's image has changed to cater to the RICH. Used to be a neighborhood icon. I have lived in Mt. View for 40 years and that's sad to see. As for Valley Med, my daughter had to go there and she hated it, but she got care. I am thankful for that!
Why does ER always have the TV's on when nobody is there?
The union was contacted and asked to forego the 3% increase in order to improve the financial situation and save valuable jobs, but in order to have the upper hand they chose increases for some and unemployment for the others. Great representation SEIU!
The community of MV should hold CEO and executives of El Camino Hospital accountable for the financial mistakes that they have made. I wonder why no one bothered to question the feasibility of such an extravagant new building with exactly the same bed capacity as the old hospital in an economy that was already on the downtrend? The palatial private rooms, flat screen TVs, works of art and "incredible" robots can't possibly be affecting the fixed and operating costs in the new hospital, can it? And where is the increased revenue that's supposed to justify this inflated cost going to come from? Nowhere. One does not need a Harvard MBA degree to figure out that this is a failing proposition from it inception. El Camino management does not have the decency to own up to it's mistakes. Meanwhile, the people who deliver the quality care that makes the real difference to the patients of the hospital in the community sacrificed. Wake up MV and let your voice be heard.
It is truly difficult waters ahead for ECH. The elaborate, plush decor throughout the new hospital in MV and the lack of appropriate management in MV over the past several years is the true reason for the current financial crisis,not the aquisition of Los Gatos.
The Los Gatos facility has been and continues to run with thoughtful management of resources. The Los Gatos facility has also been profitable to the sum of 1.6 million. We are so tired of negative feelings and comments that are unfounded and hurtful. We are all impacted by these layoff notices. Wake up community, and see things as they really are!
I'd like to talk to you but until I know for sure if I am fired or not I won't say anything. I'd get fired for sure!
Just do a search here on the ken graham and see what comes up.
Another reason for national health care - remove layers of overpaid executives and redundant administration. Kudos, though, to the hard-working, service-delivering medical professionals in the care-giving trenches. Some day this will be fixed but first the calamity ("bottom") must occur - be hit.
The "ECH Way" is gone and being a long time employee who has in the past been so proud of our hospital-i am saddened how cold and uncaring this administration (and former CEO) have been. Nothing has been said about the insurance reimbursement that was written in at 100% reimbursement and in actuality should have been 3 to 4% reimbursement! Yes, one head rolled-The CFO- but can;t believe that person was the only one who was aware of the numbers! Ken Graham, with his six figure salary and other administrative personnel should be ashamed-how would you handle a job loss after dedicating your time to a hospital that you were proud to be part of-but I quess with Mr. Grahams' salary-he could retire and live better than most of us!
there is always some truth to what's said in general. well, you get a great view of what's happening at ECH from this and all the other comments here and everywhere else. there are still lots of really good people working there to make it a good place to go despite all the barriers this cancerous administration and inept management put in its way. feel free to interchange the words inept and cancerous.
the beautiful building is at the expense of a well planned, quality institution. so many components and materials are of sub-par quality and do not work. why else would you take a sick patient who just had surgery and put them on an elevator to be taken to another floor to the icu to be taken care of? put the icu next to the o.r.! these are not contrator's issues. they are because of administration's lack of vision, ability and poor choices. so find some balance in what's being said and back it up i say.
the negative issues of ECH are all about the total lack of leadership from admin and...i hate to use this word...management. i'm now thinking of monkeys playing in their own feces whom are so proud of their efforts. the best of ECH exists in a great medical staff second to none (which is amazing in itself watching administration gut numerous departments for cheaper options. you do believe you get what you pay for right?), a very good nursing staff and an excellent group of allied professionals. hey maybe i'm wrong. maybe they still have most of the billion dollars kenny claimed the hospital had earlier this year when at los altos public library he told the community about this grand figure while trying to calm the community about the purchase of another facility in the middle of the worst recession ever. if that is true, where's the money kenny? should i ask the 140 plus employees that got fired? it used to be such a great place...hey the lobby looks nice!
The management is effecting my favorite form of torture! They are slowly wearing down people with worry and uncertainty so they will quit during the evalatuation period. The hospital won't have to pay out money if people give up and quit and unemployment benefits will be harder if impossible to obtain too. Well Done El Camino and immediate flow of cash; plus you still get to torture those who chose to remain! I couldn't have done it better myself!
I agree with the torture idea. I wonder if that was what the bosses are learning in the meetings they've been having. In my dept., the bosses are even back stabbing each other. Power struggles.
In the old hospital workers were friendlier and happier. Ever since we moved people changed. Is there a curse? The moral is pretty bad. I'm one of those that will stay as long as I have a job. And I will keep smiling. Pray for better days!
I was given a "soon to be laid off notice" So I'm unable to comment on the slim chance of maybe they made a mistake.
Two words you will never hear from the El Camino Hospital Board or Administration: "Safety First!"
I have truly enjoyed working at ECH and hope the day will not come when I am told it is time to move on. The fact that MANY RNs have been with this hospital for multiple years is not just happenstance. The environment is top notch as is the care that I see others give their patients (from RNs, CNAs, EVS, food service, you name it). I have not worked with so many caring, dedicated, professional people in a long, long time.
I am completely disgusted with how this hospital has been managed over the past year (since the move, really). The fact that the showers on the units don't drain properly, resulting in fall hazards and necessary fixes to a NEW facility, to the over the top "niceities" like the fancy lobby, player piano and roving (mostly empty) robots. There is more bad news to come, I suspect, but the worst possible outcome for all of us in this community is if ECH is purchased by a for-profit healthcare facility.
Lets see if the executives can pull ECH out of this mess, negotiate fairly with each union, cut the executive salaries/bonuses (or freeze for an extended amount of time) and see that the gem they have in this community hospital is preserved for many more years to come.
For the person "OnTHEList" who wrote the following comment:
Posted by OnTHEList
@ vfree: no one who was hired after 1996 has a pension. ECH only offers the option for a 403b.
That is INCORRECT.
Trimming the fat from the meat.
I watched El Camino being built in 1959-60, had my children there and it was so easy to find your way around. The nursing staff was what made the hospital great. It is a sad day to hear of this lay-off. I don't think it is the Los Gatos hospital but all the mistakes that were made in the new one that they have to fix. A friend of mine was in for 4 days shortly after it opened and the showers didn't work. Now they work but the water runs out of the bathroom. I heard that in one of the areas the doorways were to small to get the equipment into the room. It is a beautiful hospital, but so much waisted space and you need a road map to find your way around not sure who designed it. The one good thing is the nursing staff has not changed it is still great. Sorry to anyone who has been notified.
I would imagine that no one intentionally made decisions that would not benefit the greater good. Now that the public is aware of the poor morale, leadership defecits etc, who and how will the hospital district be made accountable for it's bad decisions. Likewise, how will we the taxpayers be assured that executives are ALL made accountable for moving the facility and it's operations positive? A buyout is not possible without the vote of the electorate thus, our current leadership must improve or perhaps be replaced. Certainly, hopsital activities must be made more public to the voters who approved the bond measure to build the new facility.
As a newer resident in MV it is intersting watching the ECH situation unfold and reading all the thoughts being shared. This is a very difficult time for healthcare in this country. Nurses who are layed off will have a difficult time finding employment as will the allied health providers. New grads find no employment even a year after graduation.
That being said no one mentions the fact that employee's who choose the PPO contribute large sums to have this coverage, instead we are led to beleive all healthcare is free. It is also true that many new employee's only have a 403B for retirement...no pension as was also stated.
The nursing union has delayed negotiations until Sept...approximately 6 months late so the hospital could figure out its finances...shouldn't they have known all along?? It is suspect to me that the administration issues layoff notices just prior to starting negotiations and plans on implementation in the middle...this is not bargaining in good faith.
I too have heard about the error in reimbursement negotiations that is costing ECH millions...Has anyone looked into renegotiating the application??
I understand the distress employee's are feeling, I too have been there, and yes administration could have done things differently. Someone needs to ask what the true cost of administration is and where cuts can be made. It is my opinion if any administrator can be on vacation for a month or more at a time (yes this is true) are they really needed or can the nurses and staff take over these duties and answer to the other layers of admin? While elective procedures have declined what programs is the hospital implementing that will truly serve the community? Diabetes education, assistance for obesity, etc?? Instead I hear radio ads for highly specialized services all the way to Marin County...if I live in Marin am I really driving to ECH for care...I don't think so. And lastly get rid of the woman who asks 50 thousand questions when you call and ask for a department in the hospital...you are wasting my time doing marketing when I have a purpose for calling.
ECH can and should do a better job...and yes admin including all levels not just execs should be proving there value after all they are not providing patient care but are more likely road blocks to highly effective, safe care.
The place where so many find the end of the line.
Interesting reading. Thank you MV Voice for the open forum. There is not an easy answer to this mess, but some things can be agreed on. Too many management additions, ie marketing, web design, spokespeople, writers, etc. Locking down admin and catering in food and posting security outside admin offices was not only insensitive but silly. There is no real transparency regarding Los Gatos purchase. The employees there are busting tail but the reality is it was a gamble that was ill timed. Any money it allegedly makes is only due to loading costs on the MV campus. I have a friend who works at ECH and she is wise, loyal and will survive this but she watches all this and shakes her head. The hospital will survive but the mistakes made should not be hidden. The latest and perhaps worst decision was to bring in outside consultants who are from a corrupt company (look up Huron consulting) and take 25 cents of every dollar saved. They have no interest in the community or in quality. The management should have done these cuts themselves and right away money is saved.
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