Behavioral health centers need to provide quality treatment to patients and ensure safety within their own walls. They must also prevent patient elopements and escapes.
Studies show that patients who leave a facility without permission can face dangerous situations and long-term negative consequences, especially when patients display impaired judgment or self-harming behavior.
Repeated escapes from UHS facilities have caused fear and concern among neighbors in Oklahoma City and “an inordinate drain” on local resources used for searches in Westwood, Massachusetts. In one case, a UHS facility eliminated all security staff and failed to develop a new plan to prevent elopements.
The below examples illustrate additional instances where UHS facilities have failed to prevent patient elopements, in some cases with serious consequences.