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A Quality Improvement Process for State Mental Health Systems
Larry R. Faulkner; O. Norman Evans; Gary L. Hodo; David L. Mahrer; Joseph J. Bevilacqua
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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University of South Carolina School of Medicine; William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute in Columbia

South Carolina Department of Mental Health, P.O. Box 485, Columbia, South Carolina 29202

South Carolina Department of Mental Health

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Continuous improvement of the quality of patient care is a major goal in state mental health systems, most of which operate several large hospitals and many community mental health centers geographically dispersed across the state. Although each facility may have an adequate quality assurance program, many opportunities for improvement are lost without integration of these efforts into a unified, state wide quality improvement system. The authors describe development of such a system in South Carolina and give examples of improvements inpatient care that have taken place since the program was initiated in 1987. The activities of the central office of quality assurance include collecting and analyzing data about adverse incidents in state facilities, monitoring corrective actions, conducting annual surveys of operations at all state facilities, and investigating and coordinating resolution of complaints about patients' rights.

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