UT Southwestern, Johns Hopkins to cut more than 500 positions
Two hospitals with strong academic ties, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, and Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, announced staffing cuts. UT Southwestern is cutting 350 positions—with about 250 of them already vacant—in response to state budget cuts that will reduce state support for the center by about $31 million a year, according to its president, Dr. Daniel Podolsky. In a letter to the UT Southwestern Medical Center community, Podolsky wrote that “Since salary expenses constitute the largest portion of our total budget, we could not expect to accomplish the $31 million reduction without some reductions in current positions.” A freeze on salaries for management above a certain level also was put in place. At Johns Hopkins, it is the use of an electronic health-record system that will cost 160 clerical jobs by year-end, but the technology already is creating other, better-paying positions, a hospital spokesman said. Johns Hopkins is assisting its “clerical associates” to transition to the digital age as it eliminates those positions, which are related to order transcription and paper record maintenance, the hospital has announced. The actions come amid similar staff-cutting by other hospitals and health systems (June 27, p. 6).