The University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville announced changes earlier this month to improve patient care in response to allegations of sexual assaults and improper use of restraints in its psychiatric unit.
The hospital fired nine employees with felony convictions on May 29 after the arrest of Rudolph Thomas Johnson Jr., a felon working as a patient-care assistant in the psychiatric ward.
Johnson, 46, was charged May 15 with raping a patient.
"We are deeply disturbed by the situations that have occurred," said Leonard Sandridge, the university's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Three of the felons fired for not disclosing all criminal convictions on their applications are eligible for rehire, hospital officials said. Medical center officials will notify those employees individually, Sandridge said.
HCFA notified the university on June 6 that the medical center was being placed in "immediate jeopardy" status, which could result in loss of Medicare reimbursement. Another inspection will take place in three to six weeks.
Some of the changes instituted are:
* Tightening the management of the psychiatric unit. Officials will appoint a team of outside experts on the use of medical restraints.
* Adding staff to the psychiatric unit to enhance around-the-clock patient monitoring.
* Working with HCFA to set new policies regarding the appropriate use of patient restraints.