The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach, which was on probation for failing to meet medical community standards and under investigation for a spate of patient suicides, has been given full accreditation once again, hospital officials said.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations, a private, nonprofit accrediting body that inspects 1,800 hospitals nationwide, had placed the hospital on probation in February after it failed to comply with standards for safety and patient care.
A team of five experts who conducted a follow-up inspection Nov. 30 found it to be once again in compliance, and congratulated the staff for its efforts to "provide high quality care for those you serve."
The commission's findings did not deal with the five patient suicides reported in the psychiatric unit between March 22, 1989, and April 17, 1990. Those were investigated by the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington, which cited morale problems and deficiencies in the program set up to review and assure the quality of care.
"We're real pleased with the efforts our staff made to bring the medical center into compliance," associate medical center director Alan Perry said. "This is an indication to our veteran clients that we fully meet the standards of the medical community assigned by this national accrediting organization."