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Audit Audit of the Department of Mental Health

Audit calls on the Department of Mental Health (DMH) to enhance management of its client discharge process from psychiatric hospitals. The audit examined the period of July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2018.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: August 1, 2019

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Department of Mental Health (DMH) for the period July 1, 2016 through September 30, 2018. In this performance audit, we examined DMH’s protocols for the discharge of clients from DMH-funded state psychiatric hospitals.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1
 

DMH did not effectively manage the discharge of some clients from its psychiatric hospitals to less restrictive community-based settings.

Recommendations
 

  1. DMH should modify its standard protocol to include identifying and/or modifying the anticipated discharge date in the treatment plan meeting notes as the client approaches discharge.
  2. DMH should establish monitoring controls to ensure that anticipated discharge dates are properly recorded or that discharge is as timely as possible.

Finding 2
 

DMH did not revoke the access of 13 former employees to its Mental Health Information System in a timely manner.

Recommendation
 

DMH should establish a formal process (e.g., what steps are to be taken, when, by whom, and with what documentation) for disabling former employees’ network access as soon as possible, as well as monitoring controls to ensure that this process is followed.

 

A PDF copy of the audit of the Department of Mental Health is available here.

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