Waterbury, Vt.–The U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently issuedtheir fourth compliance report for the Vermont State Hospital (VSH), based on anon-site review of the facility conducted in early March, 2008. The DOJreport shows that VSH is compliant with the key components of the agreement made between the federalgovernment and the State in July 2006. The report evaluates the progress thehospital is making in 140 areas, with a 5-point scoring system, ranging from Non-Compliantto Sustained Compliance. “It was evident from this visit that VSH leadership and staffhave made significant progress to ensure VSH has become a safer and more effectivetreatment provider, and the Department will continue working to improve themental health service delivery experience for all patients at VSH,” said DMHCommissioner Michael Hartman. The DOJ report is available for viewing and download on the DMHwebsite: http://healthvermont.gov/mh/programs/hospital/index.aspx(link is external) ##### “I’m pleased that this report highlights the significantefforts the Department of Mental Health (DMH) and VSH staff has undertaken toimprove the provision of care at the hospital for Vermont’s acutely mentally ill,”noted Agency of Human Services Secretary Cynthia D. LaWare. “EnsuringVSH provides high quality, compassionate care, and remains a safe and securefacility for Vermont’smost vulnerable, is essential as the State moves forward to secure agreementswith our community partners to develop a new system of care that willeventually replace this aging facility.” DOJ Releases Fourth VSHCompliance ReportShowsMarked Improvement In Patient Care, Safety Among the most improved areas were the protections ofpatients from harm, the quality improvement of patient care, the environmentalconditions and building safety of the hospital, and mental healthassessments. Areas where there has been marked improvement, but are stillin need of attention, include specific treatment services and the integrationof services across all hospital services. The hospital has been working toward regaining both Joint Commission onHealth Care Organizations accreditation, and certification by the federalCenter for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to assure high quality patient carefor Vermont’smost severely mentally ill. The reviewers, Dr. Jeffrey Geller, MD, MPH and Dr. MohammedEl-Sabaawi, met with management, staff, and patients at the Waterbury campusfor four days and offered in their report that, “staff of VSH at alllevels should be most pleased with the improvements their efforts have yieldedto date”.
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