IDPH has cited and fined Generations at Elmwood Park nursing home after a resident there suffered a broken hip in a fall.
Nursing homes are required to complete a series of documents called the Minimum Data Set (MDS). The MDS is submitted under penalties of perjury to the federal government and is a statement as to the condition of the resident and the levels of care and assistance that the resident requires. The reason that the MDS is submitted to the federal government under penalties of perjury is that the MDS forms part of the basis by which the nursing home is paid and this is the certification by the nursing home that a) this is the kind of care that the resident requires and b) that the nursing home is in fact requiring it.
The resident at issue was 101 years old and was wheelchair bound, but was largely independent. However, her MDS certified that she required assistance of one staff member with getting her pants on. This was confirmed by the nursing home’s occupational therapist who confirmed that she needed at least supervision with getting her clothes on her lower body. However, most staff members charged with her care believed that she was independent in all aspects of daily living, including dressing herself.
On the morning of this nursing home fall, the resident was seated in her wheelchair in her room getting ready for the day. Staff present in her room knew that she was getting dressed but no one waited to provide supervision and assistance with her getting her pants on. She attempted to do so herself but lost her balance while standing to pull her pants up and fell. She landed to one side and was assisted back to bed by staff. However, the fact that a fall occurred was not communicated to the resident’s doctor so it was not until the following day that she was sent to the hospital after staff heard her telling her family about the fall and that she was having pain in the side. There, the fractured hip was diagnosed and treated.
Nursing homes are businesses, and well-run businesses have processes that must be followed to ensure that necessary services are provided as a matter of routine. This should include incorporating care called for in the MDS into the resident care plan, having the contents communicated to the staff charged with carrying it out, and then having that care actually delivered. Here there were multiple breakdowns in the delivery of care. The care called for in the MDS was no incorporated into the care plan, communicated to the staff, or actually delivered. The assessments clearly called for supervision and assistance with putting on pants but that was not done. As a result, this resident fell and suffered a fractured hip.
Past that, a fall is something that requires physician notification. This was not done until the following day leaving the resident with no care of relief from pain from the fractured hip. When asked, most nurses working in a nursing home setting will agree that subjecting a resident to unnecessary pain is a form of nursing home abuse.
One of our core beliefs is that nursing homes are built to fail due to the business model they follow and that unnecessary accidental injuries and wrongful deaths of nursing home residents are the inevitable result. Order our FREE report, Built to Fail, to learn more about why. Our experienced Chicago nursing home lawyers are ready to help you understand what happened, why, and what your rights are. Contact us to get the help you need.
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