Federal investigation finds safety violations at The Acadia Hospital
BANGOR, Maine-The report on a months-long federal investigation at The Acadia Hospital was released on Tuesday and cited the hospital for failing to provide a safe workplace for employees.
The investigation by the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration also faulted the hospital for inadequately documenting work-related injuries and imposed a total fine of $11,700.
The OSHA investigation was triggered in July 2010 by an employee complaint of an unacceptable increase in patient assaults and staff injuries in the wake of a stringent "no restraints" policy imposed by Acadia CEO and president David Proffitt, who was hired in September 2008. Media reports of the investigation elicited a deluge of employee allegations, mostly anonymous, that Proffitt's policies and management style not only have undermined employee safety and moral but also have jeopardized patient care at the private, for-profit hospital.
Proffitt, who ran into similar criticism in his previous post as superintendent of the state-owned Riverview Psychiatric Hospital in Augusta, has defended his restraints policy as keeping with national standards supported by federal mental health agencies, professional associations and advocacy groups.