Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Temple Cited For Restraint Overuse

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

The Temple University Hospital placed patients in the most restrictive of restraints without proper justification, according to an inspection report from the Pennsylvania Health Department.
In a 40-page report just recently made public, surveyors from the state health agency found that staffers at Temple's Episcopal campus "failed to ensure that alternatives to restraints were utilized and proven to be ineffective prior to the application of restraints."
Instead, when state inspectors visited the 198-bed behavioral health facility late last year, they found several patients had been placed in four point restraints, the most restrictive available, without considering less restrictive alternatives.
In addition the report states staffers at the facility failed to remove those restraints in a timely manner and also failed to monitor patients while they were in those restraints.
Asked to comment on the report, Temple spokesmam Jeremy Walter said that the inspectors visited the Episcopal campus as a result of an anonymous complaint.
Although the complaint proved to be unfounded, the inspectors found other issues, Walter said. Stating that those issues were "quickly remedied," he added that "there were no untoward patient outcomes."
Temple also filed a corrective action plan in which it promised to revise policies for the use of restraints,implement an auditing program to ensure it is being followed and educate staff. State officials accepted that plan.
According to the inspection report, the state surveyors found that on Dec. 2 of last year two patients were placed in four point restraints but "there was no evidence" that less restrictive alternatives were considered.
The same was true, according to the report for three other patients placed in four point restraints later in the same month.
In one of those cases, the report states, there was no indication that there was an effort to discontinue the restraints at the "earliest possible time."
Another patient remained in restraints even though he or she was cooperative and had slept for two hours. In yet another case, surveyors found that there was no evidence of compliance with a requirement that there be constant monitoring of patients while being held in restraints.
The facility also was faulted for referring victims of sexual assault to another facility when they were required "at a minimum" to perform a forensic exam and utilize a rape kit.

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