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A pattern of disturbing events involving patient care has proved to be enough for officials at the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) to revoke the license of Hillcrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Joliet, IL.
The Chicago Tribune reported that on April 11th authorities from IDPH sent notice to the corporate offices of Hillcrest that the facilities licence was to be revoked effective May 11th.
Hillcrest Nursing Home has been the focus of a series of disturbing events involving patient care during the past several years. However, inspections conducted at the facility over the past year clearly depict a facility that has little regard for patient safety and well being.
Two episodes involving suspicious deaths at the Joliet nursing home have proved to be simply too concerning for Illinois officials to overlook. In particular, a patient died in a January 23rd incident in which the patient apparently strangled herself with a coaxial cable. An investigation into the incident revealed that staff who were to be supervising did not detect the situation because they did not enter patient rooms. Equally disturbing were the multiple pieces of drug paraphrenia found in the patient’s room.
Another patient death in the past year caught the attention of authorities when a 37-year-old patient at Hillcrest died as a result of “anti-depressant intoxication” from several medications that she was prescribed. Like the incident above, an investigation into the incident was made essentially impossible as authorities discovered a lack of paperwork documenting the how or when the patient’s medication was administered. Further, authorities learned that staff at the facility destroyed unused narcotic medication in a very unconventional manner– by dousing the medication with Coca-Cola and pouring it down the toilet.
As a nursing home lawyer who commonly sees patterns of patient injury and death involving certain facilities, I applaud the decisive action taken by IDPH authorities. While the license revocation will no doubt pose a source of stress and inconvenience for patients, actions such as this are indeed in the best interest of both current patients as well as others whom may have been considering this facility for their skilled nursing needs.
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