Substantiated Financial Exploitation – Theft from Resident
In a report from the Minnesota Department of Health, dated January 4, 2017, it was alleged that a resident at Richfield Health Center was neglected when the facility failed to provide adequate discharge planning prior to the resident discharge from the facility. In addition, the resident was financially exploited when the facility failed to return to the facility to return to the resident his/her money upon discharge.
Richfield Health Center Failed to Return Residents Funds Upon Discharge
Based on a preponderance of evidence, neglect occurred when the facility discharged the resident to the community without a safe discharge plan, without an assessment of the resident’s ability to self administer medications, and without sufficient community resources to facilitate successful placement. Within a week of discharge, the resident decompensated, was hospitalized, and was then discharged from the hospital to another skilled care facility due to his/her need for a higher level of care.
The resident was admitted to the facility for rehabilitation due to weakness, back pain, and depression. Prior to facility admission, the resident resided in the community in a private home, where the landlord also resided. The discharge plan was for the resident to return to this same setting, per the resident’s wishes.
On admission, facility staff conducted a self-medication assessment of the resident’s ability to take medications independently which established that the resident was “unable to safely administer” his/her own medications. As a result, staff administered the resident’s medications during the resident’s facility stay of ten months. At the time of discharge, there was no evidence that the facility staff ever reassessed the resident’s ability to self administer medications. The resident’s physical abilities had improved, however, the resident was still experiencing occasional falls, and occasional mood swings, which had been followed by they psychology services and managed with several medications.
Richfield Health Center Richfield Complaint Findings for Nursing Care
In a report concluded on April 20, 2012, the Minnesota Department of Health cites Richfield Health Center Richfield for Nursing Care. There was a delay in answering resident call lights.
Richfield Health Center Cited By MDH for Nursing Care Issue
According to the Minnesota Administrative Rules, 4658.0105 COMPETENCY, a nursing home must ensure that direct care staff are able to demonstrate competency in skills and techniques necessary to care for residents’ needs, as identified through the comprehensive resident assessments and described in the comprehensive plan of care, and are able to perform their assigned duties.
According to Medscape.org, Ways to Reduce Call Light Frequency
An effective way to decrease call light frequency is to remove the reason for call lights in the first place. Hourly nursing rounds to ascertain and meet patients’ needs are an evidence-based strategy that reduces dependence on call lights. A recent multisite study using medical, surgical, and medical-surgical units compared 1-hour rounding, 2-hour rounding, and traditional care (no regular rounding). The results indicated that 1-hour nurse rounding significantly reduced call light use (a 37.8% decline), decreased the rate of patient falls by 50%, and increased patient satisfaction significantly.
According to principal investigator Christine Meade, PhD, Executive Director of the Studer Alliance for Health Care Research, nurse rounding is much more than popping in to say “Hi, how are you doing?” The rounding protocol used for the study outlined specific actions to be taken by the rounder, whether this individual is a nurse, certified nursing assistant, nurse’s aide, or nursing technician. Upon entering the patient’s room, the rounder identified him or herself by name, told the patient that he or she was there to do rounds, and:
- Assessed the patient’s pain level (if the patient is experiencing pain, the RN is contacted immediately);
- Put pain medication doses on the RN’s list of scheduled items and offered when the dose was due;
- Offered toileting assistance;
- Assessed the patient’s position and position comfort and asked if the patient was comfortable or needed to be repositioned;
- Made sure the call light was within the patient’s reach;
- Put the telephone within the patient’s reach;
- Put the TV remote control and bed light switch within the patient’s reach;
- Put the bedside table next to the bed;
- Put the tissue box and drinking water within the patient’s reach;
- Put the trash can next to the bed;Prior to leaving the room, asked, “Is there anything I can do for you before I leave? I have time while I am here in the room”; andTold the patient that a member of the nursing staff will be back in the room in an hour to round again.
Rounding not only fulfills the more mundane requests that are usually made via call lights but also demonstrates the nurse’s availability to the patient and her readiness to anticipate the patient’s needs. Rounding is about building relationships and trust as much as it is about meeting physical needs. Patients like to know someone is watching over them. Hourly rounding with specific nurse actions is proactive, allowing nurses to manage patient care and their own time more efficiently. Hospitals adopting hourly rounds have reported a fall in medication errors concurrent with fewer work interruptions from call lights.
For more information from the Minnesota Department of Health, Office of Health Facility Complaints concerning nursing homes, assisted living and other elder care providers view resolved complaints at the MDH website.
If you have concerns about delay in answering call lights or any other form of elder abuse or neglect contact Elder Abuse and Neglect Attorney Kenneth LaBore at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.