NY hospital makes changes after death is video-taped

A surveillance video of a woman dying on the floor of a New York City public hospital, ignored by staff, has helped to spur changes in the way the hospital operates. In reality, the hospital has been under pressure from the New York Civil Liberties Union and others, who filed a suit in federal court a year ago accusing the hospital, Kings County Hospital Center, of keeping psych patients in unsanitary conditions, neglecting them and drugging them to keep them quiet. As a result of the bad publicity, however, the city's Health and Hospitals Corporation has come under greater pressure to settle the lawsuit. 

Kings County will now increase the monitoring of patients at the psychiatric unit. Under the agreement, the hospital will not be permitted to have more than 25 patients in the psychiatric emergency room at any time, and will check on the patients every 15 minutes. These checks will be documented in a signed, sworn log kept by staff members. The hospital has also agreed to cut waiting times from 24 hours or more to 10 to 13 hours within the next four months.

To learn more about the settlement:
- read this piece from New York Times

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