Saturday, February 11, 2012

Care centers need more monitoring in Iowa

Iowa lawmakers are considering legislation to ensure everyone knows when a convicted sex offender is living in a state-regulated facility. If implemented, nursing homes, assisted living centers and residential care centers would be required to notify residents if an offender moved in. They would check the names of newcomers against a state registry. Courts would have new responsibilities about notification. Homes would have to “implement a written safety plan.”
That isn’t enough for some lawmakers. They say a special home for elderly and disabled sex offenders is needed. One representative suggested the state might purchase one and operate it to ensure these aging sex offenders residents are contained.
Such proposals are a response to the story of William Cubbage. The 83-year-old convicted sex offender is suspected of assaulting a nursing home resident. The incident got the attention of Gov. Terry Branstad and lawmakers.|head

Friday, February 10, 2012

Legal Blogs Offer Insight on Elder Abuse

Thanks to Attorney Jonathon for a shout out about our Nursing Home abuse site in today's article naming some of the best nursing home abuse blogs. He named our site as one.
You can read his article here "Legal Blogs Offer Insight on Elder Abuse & Beyond"

Trial in Nursing Home Abuse Case Begins

Jury selection began Tuesday in Troy in the trial of four nurses accused of neglecting an incapacitated nursing home patient. The four nurses are the remaining defendants from a group of 14 nurses arrested two years ago. All 14 were accused of neglecting a 53-year-old resident of the Northwoods Rehabilitation Center over a six week period in March and April of 2009.
Prosecutors charge the nurses and nurses aides at Northwoods Rehabilitation Center outside Troy allowed the victim to lie motionless in her own waste for hours on end on repeated occasions, filing false reports of proper care.  Ten of the 14 who were arrested two years ago have pleaded guilty. The four remaining nurses or assistants are now on trial. Each is accused of falsifying business records, a felony. Also endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and willful violation of the health laws.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

$300,000 award set in bed-sore case

An Allegheny County jury awarded $300,000 to the estate of a former resident of a Squirrel Hill nursing home related to damage stemming from bed sores.
Jeffrey Green of the North Side filed a lawsuit in 2009 on behalf of his mother, Dolly Brown, a former resident of The Commons at Squirrel Hill. Brown, 72, died from unrelated causes.
Green's attorney, argued that the nursing home was responsible for the bed sores, which caused her pain.
Reports said the company would appeal the jury decision.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Nursing Home Accused in Death of Resident

A southeastern Minnesota nursing home is accused of neglect after a patient died from choking on food during a meal last march, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
Officials said the incident happened on March 18, 2011, at the Adams Health Care Center south and east of Austin. Staff interviews and a review of the staff scheduling did not identify the person responsible for the resident’s meal assistance on March 18.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Nursing Home Abuse Case: CNA Admits to Neglecting Dependent Adult

A former employee of the Central Coast Nursing Center pleaded guilty last week to neglecting a dependent adult under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm.
Brian Watt, who was 29 years old at the time of his arrest in September 2011, had worked as a certified nursing assistant at the center.
Watt will be sentenced next month to three years of probation, Barron said. He had originally been charged with a lewd act on a dependent adult, felony sexual battery on an institutionalized victim, and misdemeanor abuse of a dependent adult abuse.
Watt will not be able to work as a caretaker for the elderly while he is on probation, and his record will come up during required background checks should he apply to work at another facility.
Watt was one of two men who worked at the nursing center arrested by authorities last year.

Nursing home employee faces charges of patient abuse

An Ohio woman faced a judge Tuesday morning, accused of physically abusing an elderly  woman at Fostoria nursing home. The Fostoria Police department said Kim Reid, 28, was an employee at the Independence House nursing home in Fostoria. Investigators said Reid repeatedly abused the 94 year old woman.
Reid was charged with one count of patient abuse, a fourth degree felony. She was released on bond, and has a preliminary hearing set for January 26th. According to court records, investigators said Reid repeatedly abused the 94 year old woman on numerous occasions, by pulling her hair and pinching her nose so hard it left marks lasting into the next day.
Nursing home employee faces charges of patient abuse - News, Weather and Sport for Toledo, Ohio

Monday, February 06, 2012

Kindred Healthcare Employee Reviews: Understaffing, Profits over patients

The Website " posts employee reviews of many U.S. Corporations. One such corporation, Kindred Healthcare, a  large national healthcare chain of nursing homes, resulted in 63 past and current employees writing in reviews. These reviews are anonymously written to protect the employees who are still employed at Kindred. They range from good to bad. Important to note are some of the recurring criticisms of Kindred by their own employees in areas of nursing home patient care and employee support for providing care to nursing home elders. Another is the recurring theme of putting profits over people. Under staffing is repeatedly mentioned. The reviewers gave an average rating of 2.7 out of a possible 5 saying it "was O.K." (5 being the highest or best rating as a workplace). Paul Diaz, the CEO got a "47% approve" rating.
According to Glassdoor, the following comments were made including these quotes:
Jan 30, 2012 reviewer
"They say they go by patient accuity, but they don't. They cram as many patients' in as they can and sometimes 2 patients' to tiny rooms where beds aren't hardly 2 feet apart! They take anybody, whether the patient has been known to abuse staff and also many weighing over 300 pounds, which is hard on staff. It is all about money there! .... Staff goes out with way too many patients! We are then expected to watch patients "closely"(one floor won't allow sitters and hardly any restraints) who are confused and unrestrained, so that they aren't falling and pulling trachs out, but no one can keep up with workloads , watching patients, and answering alarms promptly. People who are FULL Codes are allowed to repeatedly pull out vital tubes, and staff must promptly" keep" replacing them in emergent situations.
2) Oct 25, 2011
"Very depressing place to work"
Advice to Senior Management: Monitor employee behavior"
3) Nov 5, 2011
"terrible leadership at the top, backstabbing, unprofessional conduct by the administrator and people over her, no respect for the good people working there and giving their best for the patients, hidden agendas by the DO, which caused the entire building to fall apart when the good people left..."
4) July 11, 2011. This reviewer gave Kindred a good rating but still added some:
"Cons - Corporate emphasis on making money seems to detract from patient care. Not enough staff/staff cut to minimum when census low."
5)  August 15th, 2011 "“Very Stressful Environment, Lacking Communication and Professionalism” 
 "Cons - There is a lack of communication between Nursing and Nurse Management. There is lack of support and trust of Nursing staff among upper management. There is a very negative morale in the facility among employees. The corporation does not provides the resources needed to do a quality job. Patient care is not priority.
Advice to Senior Management
Please read your mission statement. Patient care is and should be priority. Give your nurses what they need, please."
6) July 6, 2011 Employee:
  “It's all about the bottom
"Pros: great co-workers who work very hard without much appreciation
Cons: big push on getting people in the door, regardless of the quality of care given
Advice to Senior Management: treat your employees like you would like to be treated."
7) June 26, 2011:
Very dangerous place to work.”
"Intentionally very short staffed, ......Care plans from other disciplines have to be completed by the nurses and it is impossible to know what tasks were completed. .....Too many opportunities for errors.
Advice to Senior Management Listen to the nurses at the bedside. What's good for them is good for patients. Making the nurse's jobs impossible to do well is not good business practice. Protecting and padding the bottom line today will not pay for potential litigation tomorrow."
8) June 26, 2011 current employee
“Please look into the facility before you agree to be an employee. You may be shocked!”
"Terrible communication between staff and management
State deficiency =TOO many!
Lack of sensitivity and empathy (management and co-workers)
Understaffed for every shift
Dangerous working environment"
9) March 17, 2011 current employee
“High burnout, no bonus, abusive management, keep you in the dark”

.....Not a professional environment...Team members get written up on a frequent basis if someone speaks up. It is an uncaring environment where everyone is unhappy.
10) Feb , 2011 past employee
Consistently understaffed, overworked and underpaid!”

Frequently under staffed
11) Jan 6, 2011
"The company cares too much about money and not enough about the patients."
12) Sept 9, 2010 current employee
If you want a for-profit place to work that is more concerned about money than patient care, this is it.

"Bottom line is, Money First, People Second. I just cannot get past the mantra of a for-profit business like this. Making a buck is more important than making a difference for a patient.
Advice to Senior Management
Your Senior Management leaders should be CLINICIANS - RN's, MD's, etc. Healthcare Adminstrator and Marketing Managers - these people could have come from sales in cell phones. They have no idea how a real hospital works".
13) Aug 12, 2010 current emplyee
“Kindred has reputation for over-working staff and understaffing.”
"Everything is about cost, budget, cut-backs, money. You work with MINIMUM staff for high accuity patients, and they go by census. Our bldg is HOT too, because it is old, and you are over-worked..."
14)  July 28, 2010 
“Fix your company”
"Never enough people to take care of the residents. Sometimes their is only 4 cnas for 70 residents,most of the time only 1 or 2 nurses on the floor for 70 people. That is not proper care ."
15) April 6, 2010
"Patient satisfaction is secondary to making money."
16) 3-31-2010 past employee (2009)
“Worked to the bone.”
Nurse to patient ratio is the biggie. I would have 5 vents and 1-2 walkie-talkies. All on numerous antibiotics and needing full care. Did I mention that we would have 2 CNAs for the ENTIRE floor. Sometimes only one.  All in all, a hellhole, and that's why those of us who endured that place called it "HELLDRID".
17)  March 21, 2010 current employee
Saving a dollar takes priority over competent patient care

.....we are constantly understaffed and overworked. Instead of going by patient acuity, which means that they would have to have more staffing, they're going by the number of patients in the building, trying to save a dollar, but in reality, they're putting the patients in jepardy. And another thing, how can you cut the respiratory staff, when Kindred is a respiratory hospital? Hello, is anyone home? Why is there one respiratory therapist assigned to twelve or thirteen patients? I don't understand, but in the end it's the patient that is going to suffer
Advice to Senior Management
My advice would be to .... really take the concerns that your employees have seriously, because you never know when you or your family may be laying in the bed wondering why is it taking so long for your nurse to give you pain medicine, or why you are laying in the bed choking, and your respiratory therapist isn't there to suction you in a reasonable time."
18) March 2, 1020 current employee
People in charge so scared of going over budget I can't make orders the last week of the month practically. There are never enough supplies in the building for our residents because of this.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Government terms Pressure Ulcers as "Abuse"

 The Administration on Aging lists the types of conduct that constitute elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes:

Each year hundreds of thousands of older persons are abused, neglected, and exploited. Many victims are people who are older, frail, and vulnerable and cannot help themselves and depend on others to meet their most basic needs. Abusers of older adults are both women and men, and may be family members, friends, or “trusted others.”
In general, elder abuse is a term referring to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. Legislatures in all 50 states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws. Laws and definitions of terms vary considerably from one state to another, but broadly defined, abuse may be:
  • Physical Abuse - inflicting physical pain or injury on a senior, e.g. slapping, bruising, or restraining by physical or chemical means.
  • Sexual Abuse - non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
  • Neglect - the failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care, or protection for a vulnerable elder.
  • Exploitation - the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a senior for someone else's benefit.
  • Emotional Abuse - inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elder person through verbal or nonverbal acts, e.g. humiliating, intimidating, or threatening.
  • Abandonment - desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.
  • Self-neglect – characterized as the failure of a person to perform essential, self-care tasks and that such failure threatens his/her own health or safety.
Telltale signs of abuse can include:
  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
  • Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
  • Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
  • Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs.