|Updated: 9/21/2011 10:17 pm
||Published: 9/21/2011 7:20 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - A scathing report released Wednesday on the Arkansas State Hospital blames failure at the top for violations of patient care.
The Department of Human Services released the consultant's report Wednesday. It was ordered in June when the federal government threatened to pull funding if conditions inside the state-run hospital for the mentally ill did not improve.
A change in leadership could secure federal funding in jeopardy if the hospital doesn't correct its ways.
The findings show a staff not following standards on several occassions.
"Just over time, there was concern by folks in the community that we weren't following up on some issues that we found," says interim Arkansas State Hospital CEO Randy Fate.
The violations included in the 68 page report include: showering a patient where others could see, rarely administering drugs within 30 minutes of the scheduled time and a possibly faulty smoke alarm system.
The state brought Fale out of retirement to fix the problems. He has more than thirty years of experience as a hospital administrator.
"The biggest concern I have is the impact on the employees. I feel badly that the tools and the necessary skills were not provided to them," he says.
In the coming months, Fale will oversee an overhaul of staff training and guidelines to ensure the more than two-hundred patients who live at ASH receive the quality care they need so families don't have to worry about their loved ones.
"I want them to know that ASH is a good hospital, that is has good employees, dedicated employees, that is has some of the best physicians in the state. All of them are committed to the recovery of the patient," Fale says.
In July, DHS made an agreement with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to fix all of these issues. Now, the state has sixty days to implement an action plan. After having time to fix the problems, Medicare will come back and re-survey the hospital.