Safety

Washington hospital under fire amidst patient attacks

Hospital Safety Insider, January 7, 2016

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Patient attacks are so common at a Lakewood, Washington psychiatric hospital that parents of patients are asking either for help to control the situation, or removal of patients from the facility, according to a report from The News-Tribune of Tacoma, Washington.

According to the report, federal inspections of Western State Hospital found that patients are put at risk of psychological harm, physical injury, and death from attacks from fellow patients. Officials with the state Department of Social and Health Services received more than 100 pages of inspection reports from the Medicare and must show improvement by March 1 to keep more than $60 million per year in federal money, according to the report.

Attacks on employees tend to receive more attention partly because they are regularly reported as DSHS performance measures. But inspection reports show and DSHS records confirm that patients are assaulted even more often than staff, the report said.

The 827-bed hospital averaged more than two daily assaults on patients during a recent stretch of nearly four months, inspectors found. Counting assaults on both patients and staff, there were more than four per day. The report also said that at least two patients have ended their own lives in recent months, and calls out gaps in how the hospital identifies and reduces the risk of suicide.

Read more here.



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