IDPH has cited and fined Greek American Rehab & Care Center after a resident there was allowed to go to the bathroom without the required help and then fell from the toilet seat, resulting in a fracture to her right hip, which required surgery to fix.
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 important points in the care plan was the designation of the resident as a 1 person assist to the toilet. Generally speaking, that means a staff member either stays in the bathroom or just outside the door when a resident toilets.
On the day of this nursing home fall, the nurse placed the resident on the toilet chair in her bathroom and then left her there unattended to go assist another resident. The resident subsequently slid off from the toilet onto the floor and threw a bootie she was wearing on her feet out into the room to try to get staff attention.
The fall resulted in a fracture to her right hip. The resident was transferred to the hospital where she underwent surgery to fix the injury.
The basic issue with the care that was provided is that the resident’s care plan called for individual assistance on the toilet. Residents as fragile and unsteady as this resident cannot be left alone on the toilet. The decision of the nurse to leave the resident alone with a call button while she was attending to another resident in a different room was a mistake. Because the resident was left on the toilet unattended, the fall and injury resulted.
When you have staff that is stretched too thin to provide necessary supervision and help to residents to avoid accidents, this raises fair questions as to whether this was an understaffed nursing home. Unfortunately, understaffing a nursing home is a basic feature of the nursing home business model.
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.