Year Established: 1958
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a not-for-profit, 926-bed, major teaching and research hospital. It is the largest private hospital in the nation’s capital and among the 50 largest hospitals in... more the nation.
I voluntarily admitted myself to MedStar Washington because I was suicidal. While waiting for a bed to become available, I became extremely anxious from the hospital's chaotic environment. I suddenly didn't... more feel suicidal anymore; I just wanted to go home. I asked the staff if I could be discharged. They looked at me, laughed, and went back to standing around and chatting among themselves. I started crying and asked if someone could please help me. This time, the staff completely ignored me. They also ignored the cries of the two other patients waiting for beds, both of whom were displaying signs of psychosis. The three of us were clearly distressed, but the staff refused to speak to us or try to calm us.
After five hours in the waiting room, two staff members plopped me into a wheelchair and wheeled me away with no explanation. Exhausted and still crying, I asked where they were taking me; again, I was ignored. I pleaded with them to please just give me some sort of information, but they refused, snickering to one another all the while. It was almost sadistic.
Turns out they were taking me to do my intake processing, which lasted for another couple of hours. I didn't get to a bed until after 4am, and then was forced by staff to wake up at 7am. (Being sleep-deprived definitely isn't going to help someone who is already experiencing a mental health crisis.)
That morning, I begged the hospital psychiatrist to call my own psychiatrist, and my psychiatrist successfully persuaded him to release me immediately. After I was discharged, I literally sprinted from the hospital to the bus stop. I had never been so relieved to leave a place in my life.
I later learned that once a patient has been admitted for suicidal ideation (even voluntarily), they cannot be discharged just because they ask to leave. And I understand that. But the staff didn't explain that to me at they time, and they showed my fellow patients and I no compassion whatsoever. They acted like we were completely unworthy of their time and help.
People with mental illness are still people. We should be treated with dignity.
TL;DR: MedStar Washington has absolutely no compassion for their mental health patients. Their staff is beyond unprofessional - they are cruel.
Rate of readmission after discharge from hospital (hospital-wide)
Rate - 16.5% (0.5% above the national rate)
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