Months into a Senate investigationat the Hawaii State Hospital, lawmakers are preparing to tour the facility on Wednesday.
Click here to watch Lara Yamada's report.
"I consider it to be one of the biggest challenges for the department right now," said Dr. Linda Rosen, state health director.
Rosen said from day one she knew the Hawaii State Hospital had a bull's eye on it.
KITV has interviewed several Hawaii State Hospital staffers who say they were attacked by patients.
"I got injured by him hitting me in the head and slamming (me) against the wall," one hospital employee said. "Something has to be done because we're going to have a death."
The full Senate investigation that followed triggered more outcry.
Rosen said years of overcrowding, under-funding, and discrepancies in staff training have exposed a system in desperate need of help.
"The patients keep coming from the courts and there's only one place for them to go which is to us," Rosen said.
"You see more patients that are young and violent making this situation far too dangerous," said Sen. Josh Green, Senate Health Committee chair.
Green said an increasingly violent, drug-soaked mental health population has further crippled the state hospital, which was originally created for a more moderate patient-base.
Despite what's recently come to light, Green said lawmakers failed to pass what he called critical funding to expand the hospital and build a separate space for more violent patients.
"Change isn't going to happen fast enough," Rosen said. "But I think if we work on all these fronts we will see an improvement."
Rosen said they're planning to re-train staff, practicing mock scenarios to de-escalate situations.
Rosen said the hospital also plans to add more protective equipment.
They're also looking at specific times during the day when patients tend to be more violent so they can staff accordingly.
"I think this investigation and this tour and what have you, are really shining a light on what our needs are as a society," Green said.
Rosen said they have the funding to create a master plan to eventually reorganize and renovate the hospital.