Monday, February 12, 2018

Philadelphia Hospital Cited In Suicide

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

A Philadelphia behavioral hospital has  been cited in the suicide death of a patient and a host of other violations of state requirements' many involved in the treatment of patients with Electro Convulsive Therapy (ECT) ,in a recently released report..
 The report on the Belmont Behavioral Hospital was first made public without an approved corrective action. The agency normally posts inspection reports only after the submission of an approved plan of correction.
"An approved plan of correction is not on file," the report stated.
Mark Schor, a Belmont official, said the facility did submit a plan of correction and that state officials had accepted it.
The latest version of the inspection report posted today shows that several parts of the corrective action plan have been accepted while others have not.
Schor also said the hospital is in the process of building a 250-bed state-of-the-art replacement facility, scheduled to open in late 2019.
According to the report, based on a Nov. 9 visit to the hospital, inspectors declared a state of immediate jeopardy after discovering numerous violations of anti-ligature requirements, rules set to minimize the risk of suicides.
The failure to comply with those requirements "resulted in the suicide death of one patient," the report states.
The patient was pronounced dead on April 24 of last year.
"The patient was found hanging from a loopable point on a bathroom anti-ligature door," the report states, adding that in addition the hospital failed to request an autopsy report and forms on the disposition of the body were not completed.
The hospital failed to provide a safe setting, the report continues, adding that a hospital psychiatrist "did not document the observations and special precautions" needed for the patient.
The facility did immediately change its policy to require that all patients with a suicidal risk be observed by staff every seven minutes. As a result the state of immediate jeopardy declared at 12:14 p.m., on Nov. 9 of last year was lifted at 7:46 p.m.
In its corrective action plan Belmont said they had designated a patient safety officer and that policies and  procures for ECT treatment were reviewed and revised.
Belmont is part of the Acadia Health Care LLC, a company that operates some 579 treatment facilities.
Other findings by the state Health Department surveyors included the failure to properly monitor patients who had undergone ECTs. During the visit two patients were observed in the treatment area without any staff present.
Still other violations included medication carts left unlocked and unattended and failure to maintain complete records showing how many vials were used on ECT patients. There was "no documented evidence of how many vials were delivered to the ECT room," the report states.
Inspectors also cited failure to respond to grievances within a seven day limit and failure to secure patient records to ensure confidentiality. They observed 166-pages of patient related data in open view.
Inspectors also said Belmont "failed to ensure a sufficient number of nursing staff were available to meet the nursing needs of the patients."

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