Patients need health care facilities to be safe places to receive treatment, and in fact, all hospitals are required to implement effective systems to prevent all forms of abuse and harassment of patients. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) lists seven components “suggested as necessary” for such systems, including providing adequate numbers and types of staff, screening employees for any record of abuse, providing adequate training, identifying incidents proactively, investigating all allegations, protecting patients during investigations, and ensuring that appropriate corrective measures are taken.
We believe that as the provider of 20% of all inpatient behavioral health services in the country, UHS has a special responsibility to set high standards of safety and care.
The examples below show alleged failures of UHS to protect their patients, including instances of patient injuries and deaths, improper restraints and seclusion, and failure to prevent abuse.
It is important to note that although front line staff are often held responsible for incidents of abuse, they do not have control over their workplaces. In each of these examples, regulators and litigants lay responsibility for abusive conditions at the door of the facility itself.