Disability Group Asks Ohio To Protect Patients At Columbus Psychiatric Hospital

May 11, 2018

Disability Rights Ohio released a report this week calling attention to Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry's violations of treatment standards and patient safety – including allegations of physical and sexual abuse.

The legal advocacy organization is asking the state to protect patients and step up regulations at the Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry, a 130-bed private facility on Columbus' west side. 

"The report is a result of a couple of years of our staff conducting an intensive investigation of the facility based on complaints we had received and calls from individual clients," said Disability Rights Ohio director Michael Kirkman. 

Kirkman says hundreds of people have suffered because of the hospital's lapses.

"There was a pattern of denial or inadequate medical care," Kirkman says. "Not psychiatric care necessarily but other medical conditions that resulted in people having medical issues and having to be transferred to general hospitals after staff neglect of those concerns."

According to the report, the hospital failed to provide treatment in a trauma-informed setting for survivors of sexual abuse, failed to request basic medical records and provide appropriate care, used seclusion rooms unsafely and using stigmatizing diagnostic language in patient records. 

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services issued a probationary license to the hospital in January 2017 and asked the hospital to address deficiencies. A letter from November 2017 to hospital administrators says the department received 33 complaints about treatment and patient care since December 2012.  

"We’re concerned the hospital has showed a pattern of inability to bring themselves into compliance," Kirkman says. "We see lots of problems in lots of facilities around the state. But the hospital has not been able to comply with plans of correction that it has submitted to the state. 

WOSU reached out to Ohio Hospital for Psychiatry for comment, but they did not respond by the time of publication.