UNC Hospitals placed on probation by Joint Commission

The Joint Commission has placed Chapel Hill, N.C.-based UNC Hospitals' accreditation status on probation after finding several problems during a recent survey, according to The News & Observer.

The problems include inadequate suicide screening documentation and assessment, lack of "ligature resistant hardware and furniture" in behavioral health areas and incomplete or inadequate documentation of physician medication orders, according to an internal UNC System document The News & Observer verified with a source closely connected to the UNC System and UNC Hospitals.

UNC Health Care confirmed the probation in a written statement Aug. 23. There is "no finding of any immediate threats to public health and safety," UNC Health Care spokesperson Phil Bridges told The News & Observer.

The Joint Commission accepted UNC Hospitals' plans for improvement Aug. 22, UNC Hospitals said. "Those plans have already been implemented," the statement said, and another survey will likely come soon. UNC Hospitals expects to be removed from probation after the next survey.

The probation status comes months after a New York Times investigation revealed safety issues and high death rates at UNC Children's Hospital in Chapel Hill in May, after which the hospital announced it was suspending complex pediatric heart surgeries.

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