State safety investigators have opened a review of emergency room operations for mentally ill patients inside the University of Minnesota-Fairview Riverside Medical Center, KSTP has learned.
An investigator from the Minnesota Office of Safety and Health Administration inspected the same ER locked section where a 15-year-old mentally ill and developmentally-disabled girl was sexually assaulted by a mentally ill male patient last November, according to a hospital source.
Nothing to see here, a hospital spokesman says:
"Regulatory agency visits are part of the routine and important work all health systems do," wrote Fairview spokesperson Camie Melton Hanily.
But KSTP says not to believe the spin.
Generally, OSHA investigations of hospitals are sparked by complaints when staff and patients feel they are in imminent danger of workplace violence. OSHA also reviews employee complaints about unsafe conditions and conducts surprise investigations when necessary due to deteriorating operations.
The hospital is also under investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health for security breakdowns on the unit where mentally ill children are treated. In two separate cases, four children managed to escape in April from the unit by tampering with magnetic door locks, according to a hospital source.