DOJ Concludes Investigation at Atascadero State Hospital
An eight-member Department of Justice investigations panel last week completed an inspection of Atascadero State Hospital that could lead to recommendations for addressing some staffing-related issues at the facility, the San Luis Obispo Tribune reports. The panel is expected to release a report in several months.
Federal inspectors in February announced investigations into ASH and three other state hospitals after a 2002 DOJ investigation found violations of patients' rights at Metropolitan State Hospital in Norwalk.
Although no such violations have been reported at ASH, a Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations report criticized staffing policies at the hospital. According to the report, mandatory overtime and inadequate staffing levels negatively affected patient safety.
Staffing issues are "expected to weigh heavily" in the DOJ review, as well, the Tribune reports (Curran, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 12/7).