Harbor Oaks Hospital allegedly inflated staffing levels in anticipation of audit

New Baltimore, Mich.-based Harbor Oaks Hospital — which has been facing scrutiny for understaffing and abuse claims — allegedly inflated staff levels in anticipation of an audit by the Joint Commission, according to WXYZ.

Current and former nurses at Harbor Oaks Hospital, including Linna Sikon and Charmaine Allagreen, claim the psychiatric hospital increased staffing levels right before the audit. Ms. Sikon adds that Harbor Oaks then cut staffing by "nearly half" after the hospital passed the Joint Commission survey. She immediately filed a complaint with Michigan's Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

"It was immediately after [the commission] left that the staffing was cut," Ms. Sikon said.

A spokeswoman for the Joint Commission told WXYZ that the organization will evaluate the allegations and if they prove true, they could deny Harbor Oaks Hospital its accreditation.

The allegations are the latest calling into question the safety of the patients at Harbor Oaks. Earlier this year, the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration found 76 incidents of assaults on hospital staff by patients, which is a result of understaffing.

"We take any and all concerns with a deep sense of care, thorough investigation, and resolution; including coordination with appropriate regulators and agencies," a Harbor Oaks spokesperson told WXYZ.  

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