RI’s Eleanor Slater Hospital issued preliminary denial of accreditation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island’s state psychiatric hospital has been ordered to make immediate changes or else risk losing its accreditation.

The Joint Commission, a group that oversees medical facilities, issued a preliminary denial of accreditation to Eleanor Slater Hospital after conducting a triennial review, the R.I. Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH) said in a statement Thursday. The review team singled out concerns about the possibility that patients there could harm themselves.

“The hospital will remain accredited, but must address the findings,” BHDDH said. A short-term action plan “is being actively implemented,” according to the agency.

Rebecca Boss, director of BHDDH, said the negative findings were not due to poor patient care, but instead because of the aging facility.

“With a psychiatric population that we serve in the hospital, patient safety needs to be a primary concern,” she said. “So when you have an environment that could pose risk, that could provide people with instruments and opportunity to do something that would harm them, then we need to make sure as a hospital we’re mitigating those risks.”

Right now, the department is restricting areas where patients can go and will eventually need to make repairs and renovations. Inspectors will return within 60 days to review the changes.

The Eleanor Slater Hospital has two campuses, one at the state’s Pastore complex in Cranston and another at its Zambarano facility in Burrillville.