Audit Finds More Can Be Done To Improve State Hospital

Sep 9, 2015

The Oregon State Psychiatric Hospital has made progress during a decade of change. But more can be done to improve mental health treatment and staff safety. That's according to a recent audit by the Secretary of State's office.

Oregon State Hospital Kirkbride Building
Credit MCAA

An audit team found the facility has made major strides since the new Salem campus was completed in 2011. It no longer resembles the "insane asylum" of Ken Kesey's “One flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.” Today’s State Hospital treats around 600 patients in class-like groups. The audit found its adoption of recovery-oriented healthcare is a visible change.

Andrew Love is a principal auditor.

Love: “Now the culture, the buildings, the way they treat their patients, everything has made a significant shift. The atmosphere feels more like a college atmosphere as opposed to a hospital. But I also saw that there is some opportunities for improvement.

Oregon State Hospital, circa 1920
Credit Wikepedia

Such as staff safety. A 2014 review found 40% of nursing staff surveyed were assaulted over the last year. Even more felt unsafe at work. The largest segment of the patient population is inmates found guilty except for insanity.