Friends Hospital gives restraint orders without rationale and physician signature

The Friends Hospital Inpatient Unit was cited by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS, formerly known as the Dept. of Public Welfare) for violating regulations around the use of seclusion and restraints in mental health facilities, the right to treatment, and the consensual release of information to third parties. During the facility inspection, DHS found that a patient’s restraint order was missing the required physician’s signature, as well as the rationale for why the restraints were warranted and necessary. DHS also cited the facility for repeatedly violating regulations for the consensual release of information to third parties. DHS found that 18 of 32 charts had “releases [that] were non-specific to whom and/or what information was to be released, blank (meaning signed by the individual with no other information completed), only witnessed by one individual for verbal consents and contained no effective dates.” Lastly, DHS found that one patient had not been participating or receiving group therapy because of language barriers and the facility had not supplied interpreter services. The facility submitted a plan of correction to address these cited deficiencies.