Patient safety concerns force Rush to temporarily close 3 mental health units

Rush University Medical Center in Chicago temporarily closed three mental health units to address safety concerns raised by state health officials, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The concerns surround ligature points in the units, such as protruding door hinges or bathroom sinks, that could pose a strangulation risk for patients.

Rush already had renovation plans in place to address these risks after The Joint Commission raised similar concerns, according to a recent financial filing from the hospital cited by the Tribune.

"We were in the process of addressing those issues but decided to close the units to allow construction workers the full access needed to complete renovations more quickly and with less patient disruption," Rush spokesperson Charlie Jolie told the publication via email.

The three mental health units contain about 70 beds. About five patients were transferred to other facilities before the closures, according to Mr. Jolie. Rush said it expects to complete the renovations in late June. The hospital must regain compliance with CMS by June 30 or its Medicare contract may be at risk.

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