Friday, January 16, 2009

Georgia reaches agreement with feds

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced yesterday that his state has reached an agreement with the Justice Department to overhaul patient care seven state psychiatric hospitals.
The agreement, which still needs judicial approval, covers almost every area of patient care:
  • Incident reviews and investigations
  • Treatment planning
  • Seclusion and restraint protocols
  • Medical and nursing care
  • Discharge planning
The tentative agreement also calls for the state to develop new suicide risk assessment tools to prevent patient suicides. They are also to examine approaches to deter assaultive behavior.
As discussed on this blog, Georgia has been under intense scrutiny after an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation uncovered 136 deaths and nearly 200 cases of patient abuse since 2002. Recently, the state has been exploring privatizing its crumbling public psychiatric hospital system.
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