Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday, Monday...

As if Monday mornings weren't hard enough already, I just opened an e-mail that says our big DOJ visit for the hospital looks like it will happen the first week in November. Great. At least we'll be getting it over with, but things around here will be really kicking into high gear. For those not in the know, a few years ago the Atlanta journal Constitution ran a series of articles about unexplained deaths in Georgia's mental hospitals. While we were at the bottom of the list when it comes to incidents, the whole system was shown to be flawed. This prompted the Department of Justice to decide to investigate the hospitals. We were waiting and waiting for when they would make a visit to CSH. Many, many trees were lost in the task of copying documents requested, many man hours were spent figuring data and numbers. And they continues to postpone their visit until they finally said they weren't going to investigate CSH. They had seen enough at the few hospitals they visited to make a general assumption that all the hospitals had the same issues. So a settlement was reached with the state and plans were made that they would be able to come in basically whenever they chose. We have to show that we are making improvements in several areas and any time there is a problem, they can show up. Fast forward to this past Spring. We had a death in my building. And a pretty grisly one at that. One of our patients killed another patient in his room. Of course this brought DOJ down on us like a pack of spider monkeys. They visited, reviewed documents, etc. They identified areas that needed improvement. The week before my maternity leave they visited again to see if changes had been made. They were not satisfied with the changes that were made and that's how we became split from CSH. We are now directly supervised by the comissioner of Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilites and the forensic coordiantor for the state is working here in this building. So now we get word that it's time for DOJ to make their initial visit to survey the hospital. Take a baseline, if you will. And that will take place the first week in November. I'm expecting that things around here will be nuts! It always gets that way. The good news is that now that we're spilt from CSH, I think it will be much calmer. Cook building staff tend to be less reactive in general to these things. I think it will be handled better than it was in Powell where people just get really crazy about these things. I call it "Danger, Danger Will Robinson" mode! LOL

So that's it in a nutshell. Over the next six weeks or so if I seem crazier (than usual), you'll know why. As if I need anything added to my brain fogginess, now it's this.

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