IDPH has cited and fined Bria of Palos Hills nursing home after a resident there fell and suffered a broken arm due to the failure of staff to provide care called for by the resident care plan.
Care planning is a process by which risks to the health and well-being are identified and measures are put into place and carried out on a day-to-day basis to prevent those risks from coming to fruition. One of the ways that proof of nursing home abuse and neglect is proven is by showing violations of the resident care plan. Delivery of the care called for in the care plan is fundamental to providing quality care to residents in a nursing home setting.
There are six steps to the care planning process: (1) an assessment of the risks to the health and well-being of the resident; (2) a written care plan is developed which identifies a series of steps or interventions intended to reduce the risks to the resident.; (3) communication of the care plan to the staff who are charged with carrying it out; (4) implementation of the care plan on a day-to-day, sift-to-shift basis; (5) ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of the care plan; (6) revision of the care plan if it proves to be inadequate in practice or if the care needs of the resident change.
The resident at issue was identified as being a fall risk, and a fall prevention care plan was put into place. Among the steps that were to be taken was extensive assist of one staff with toileting and ambulation. “Extensive assist” generally means provided physical support with weight bearing during the activity, including the use of a gait belt.
One the day of this nursing home fall, the nurse on duty had been told that the resident was not feeling well and went to the room. As she approached the room, she saw that the call light was on. She looked into the room and saw that there was an aide in the room already and that the resident was standing, walking toward the bathroom. Assuming that the aide was there to assist the resident, she left to care for other residents.
Moments later she heard the resident call out the she had fallen and returned to the room and found the resident on the floor of the bathroom. She told the staff that she lost her footing and fell. She was bleeding from a wound from the head and was complaining of pain to her arm. She was brought to to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with a comminuted fracture of the surgical neck of the humerus (upper arm).
There was a care plan in place which was intended to prevent just this kind of injury. The resident was a fall risk and the care plan called for the assistance of one staff member to prevent falls, which can be so devastating to nursing home residents. Care plans must be communicated to the staff so that they can actually be implemented. Here, there were two staff members – the aide who was already in the room and the nurse who looked into the room – who saw that the resident was up without assistance. Neither helped this resident, and as a result, the fall occurred. The failure to carry out the care plan led directly to this injury.
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.
Other blog posts of interest: