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Coming to Defense of Psychiatric Hospital

February 23, 1992

If you are looking for reasons for the difficulties plaguing the private hospital psychiatric industry, "Industry Under Fire: Psychiatric Hospitals in Crisis" (Feb. 3), take a look at the federal and state regulations for the managed care industry.

There are good nurses taken off the units to handle the paper mill these agencies require from facilities striving to care for a population that is not fully understood in our society.

The question is usually not whether the care received was good but whether the paperwork was completed. Most of the time deficiencies are cited because paperwork has not been generated.

For the past year, I have had the privilege of working at Community Psychiatric Center, Santa Ana. The staff is dedicated. Our medical director, administrator and director of nurses strive to maintain a high standard of care.

The article mentions lawsuits filed against the hospital. What hospital has never had a suit filed against it? The cases listed in your article happened in different years. As we all know that it takes years in our legal system before anything is settled.

If you tally the percentage of these cases in relation to the number of patients served, they are very minimal.

There is caring and dedication in this field, but we are plagued by those who limit the care that we can provide.

Community Psychiatric Centers will survive because of its dedication to caring for mentally ill patients. We provide quality service and will continue to do so.

KAREN A. WILSON, R.N.

The writer is a registered nurse and director of quality improvement at Community Psychiatric Centers Santa Ana Hospital .

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