Vermont hospital makes changes after citation for patient rights violations

Brattleboro (Vt.) Memorial Hospital has set a corrective action plan in motion after a state inspection found various patient rights and emergency services violations, according to a Sentinel Source report.

The inspection, performed by the state's Division of Licensing and Protection, noted one instance of unnecessary force used by police, who were called in by staff to subdue a mental health patient. The hospital's emergency department staff was also cited for failing to remove physical restraints from a patient diagnosed with mental illness in a timely manner, according to the report.

"The corrective action plan in response to this incident was built upon the continuous quality improvement initiatives already in development and in place at BMH," the hospital said in a statement to the Sentinel Source. "We take every patient compliant as an opportunity to review and strengthen our existing policies, processes and relationships with our external partners."

BMH did not immediately respond to a Becker's request for comment.

According to the Sentinel Source, the hospital has made several changes in light of these findings, including:

  • Distributing instructions to emergency department staff on how to use restraints and seclusion
  • Re-training nurses and supervisors on interacting with law enforcement on the hospital campus
  • Modifying its "code green" policy for use of law enforcement to manage emergency patients
  • Having staff meet with police, sheriffs and the state Department of Mental Health

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