Vista Prairie at Windmill Pond Financial Exploitation
According to a report dated January 23, 2017, the Minnesota Department of Health it was alleged that a client at Vista Prairie at Windmill Pond Alexandria was financially exploited when the alleged perpetrator (AP) took the client’s medication.
Vista Prairie at Windmill Pond Substantiated Allegation Medication Theft
Based on a preponderance of evidence, financial exploitation occurred when the alleged perpetrator (AP) took the client’s opioid medication.
The client received medication management from the home care provider according to the service agreement and service plan. The client had a physician’s order for oxycodone oral solution (five milligrams / five milliliters), to be taken every four hours as needed for pain.
Document review and observations made during the on-site investigation revealed a nurse drew up liquid oxycodone in syringes for the client, and placed them in a double-locked medication storage cabinet. Keys were only available to on-duty unlicensed staff. The keys were always kept in the immediate possession of staff.
Interviews were conducted with two nurses. One nurse was setting up oral medication oxycodone syringes for the client, and noticed syringes s/he had previously set-up appeared to lighter in color than the new syringes s/he just set up. The nurse examined the syringes s/he set up six days prior and noticed there were bubbles in the solution and the measurements were not as exact as his/her usual practice. The nurse said when s/he fills the syringes there are never any bubbles in the solution. They are precise measurements they are verified by a second nurse, and s/he re-checks them each three to four times right before placing the syringes in the medication storage cabinet. The nurse shared his/her concerns with the second nurse, who also observed that the syringes set-up six days prior were lighter in color than the new syringes. The nurse suspected the newly hired AP had diverted the medication. The nurses discovered the AP who was working as a newly hired AP had diverted the medication. The nurses discovered the AP, who was working as an unlicensed resident assistant, has a suspended nursing license, due to previous drug diversion in Minnesota and another state; the AP had failed to disclose the suspended license to the home care provider. The nurses notified the police.
A police report indicated police were called to the facility for a suspected drug diversion. The police interviewed the AP and s/he admitted to taking the medications from the client. Police forwarded this investigation to County Attorney for charging. The AP subsequently entered a plea of guilty for Felony Controlled Substance Crime in the 5th degree.
The AP was interviewed and admitted to taking medication from the client and diluting the solution in the syringes set up by the nurse. The AP stated s/he plead guilty to the Felony Controlled Substance charge.
Vista Prairie at Windmill Pond Alexandria Report Suspected Abuse and Neglect
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 any form of elder abuse or neglect contact Minnesota Elder Abuse Attorney Kenneth LaBore toll free at 612-743-9048 or toll free at 1-888-452-6589 or by email at KLaBore@MNnursinghomeneglect.com.