Hearing reveals info about violations at Kzoo hospital

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — A hearing in Lansing Thursday revealed more details into violations found at the Kalamazoo Psychiatric Hospital by state auditors.

The House Oversight Committee questioned the auditors and current staff members.

Some of the biggest findings from the report, first released in July, involve neglect allegations that led to the termination of a contract employee.

The facility is one of five state psychiatric hospitals. It serves 34 counties in West Michigan and had 163 patients at the time of the hearing.

The auditors presented a variety of issues ranging from an excessive number of keys, for use to access areas or cabinets inside the hospital, to the cost of contract psychiatrists.

The report found issues with employees having access to too many electronic medical records and recommends more clearly defining which roles can see certain information. In addition, some assessment reports were not completed within the required amount of time.

An employee was accused of neglect relating to an incident where a patient attempted to take their own life.

According to State Audit Supervisor Lisa Hale, a nurse and psychiatrist were accused of neglect in a separate case involving a female patient.

“The patient had gone into labor and she was not taken to the hospital and she ended up giving birth in the bathroom,” Hale said.

Following the complaints against the three employees, they were still able to attend to the patient, which is not permitted. The hospital pointed to a breakdown in communication and staffing challenges as factors.

Conor Moore, the director of compliance for the hospital, says changes have been made to improve the speed of reports being filed and the organization has addressed the issues with access to electronic medical records.

“We have a tremendous amount of openness and transparency with all of our regulating bodies, with the joint commission, with CMS, MIOSHA, etc. and with the state hospital administration,” Moore said.

The hospital also has experienced challenges in hiring psychiatrists. It has to rely on a majority of doctors working as contract employees.

State. Rep. Matt Hall, committee chairman, says that issue may be something the committee will look into in greater detail.