Little Rock Arkansas Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Little Rock Elder Abuse AttorneyEvery year, thousands of family members face the tough decision of placing a loved one in a nursing facility and entrusting their care to the nursing staff. It is always the family’s belief and hope that their loved one will receive the best quality care and be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve. Unfortunately, abuse and neglect in nursing facilities have risen to epidemic proportions nationwide. In fact, the Little Rock nursing home neglect attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have handled many cases where nursing home residents have been inflicted with physical, emotional, sexual and mental injury by their caregivers.

The levels of abuse and neglect in nursing facilities throughout the Little Rock area were hardly unpredictable. In recent years, the numbers of senior citizens within Little Rock’s city limits has reached well over 20,000 residents, and many of those live in nursing homes. The increasing number of elderly Arkansans requiring quality long-term care has placed a significant burden on assisted-living homes, nursing facilities and rehabilitation centers statewide. Many nursing home administrators face the challenge of filling open nursing positions in an effort to have ample staff to meet the needs of every resident. Because of overcrowding, many of the nursing staff must work extensive hours while attempting to provide ample care to meet the resident’s needs.

Little Rock Nursing Home Resident Health Concerns

Nursing home abuse and neglect are stark realities for residents who suffer injury, harm, and at times death due to the unacceptable behavior of nursing staff members. Our Little Rock elder abuse attorneys have long served as legal advocates for residents all throughout Arkansas. In addition, our law firm continuously reviews publicly available information and national databases that detail health concerns, opened investigations and filed complaints in nursing homes throughout the state. We publish this information to benefit families facing the undesirable decision in choosing where to place a loved one who requires quality care for their health and hygiene needs.

Comparing Little Rock Area Nursing Facilities

The facilities listed below currently maintain below average ratings in the comparative analysis tool from the federal government national database on Medicare.gov. In addition, our Pulaski County nursing home abuse attorneys have listed their primary concerns and detailed specific incidences where the action of the nursing staff and administration caused the resident harm, injury or premature death.

Information on Arkansas Nursing Home Abuse & Negligence Lawsuits

Our attorneys have compiled data from settlements and jury verdicts across Arkansas to give you an idea as to how cases are valued. Learn more about the cases below:

HIGHLANDS OF LITTLE ROCK AT CUMBERLAND THERAPY
1516 South Cumberland St
Little Rock, Arkansas 72202
(501)37-7565

A “For-Profit” 120-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide Residents an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Trained Supervision to Prevent Avoidable Accidents

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 11/12/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “ensure adequate supervision was provided to prevent resident injury during staff assisted transfers.” This deficient practice was “evidenced by the facility’s failure to ensure staff was knowledgeable in the mode of transfer and amount of resistance needed or where to locate the information and the consistency of implementing the correct Plan of Care to reduce the potential for injury.” This failure directly affected one resident of the “will require the use of a mechanical lift for transfers.”

The failed practices at Highlands of Little Rock at Cumberland Therapy “resulted in Immediate Jeopardy injury or death to [a resident at the facility] who had a fracture of the left great toe after incorrect transfer.” In addition, the deficient practices of the nursing staff indirectly affected 22 residents at the facility identified by a 11/12/2015 list provided by the facility’s Administrator. These residents “had been assessed as requiring the use of a mechanical lift for transfers.”

While the facility “removed the Immediate Jeopardy prior to the survey” it “did not correct the underlying failed practices.”

The state investigator conducted a review of the resident’s 06/16/2015 Care Plan that indicates the resident “requires assistance with [ADLs (Activities of Daily Living)] related to [the resident’s medical condition, bed mobility, transfers including dressing, showering toileting and dependence on eating, the use of a Geri-Chair for locomotion and contracture to the right hand].” The Care Plan indicates that transfers will be performed by two staff members “secondary to non-weight-bearing with mechanical lift.”

The complaint investigation was initiated after the state surveyor conducted a review of the facility’s 10/26/2015 Nurse’s Notes indicating that a “nurse was called to the resident’s room by [a Licensed Practical Nurse providing care to the resident]. She stated that the resident’s foot was bleeding profusely. [The CNA providing care] stated that she was unaware how she injured her foot. [The resident’s] sock was saturated [with a] laceration on the bottom of her foot under her great toe [on the] left foot. The laceration was deep. [The nursing staff] contacted the ambulance and she was transported to the hospital.”

The 10/26/2015 Incident and Accident Report documented that the “nurse was called to the resident’s room, there was blood on the floor and a deep laceration under the great toe of the left foot. CNA stated she was not aware of how it happened.” The state surveyor conducted a review of the 10/26/2015 4:45 PM facility Investigation Report for Resident Abuse, Neglect, Misappropriation of Property & Exploitation of Residents in Long-Term Care that indicates that the “CNA assigned to the resident did not know anything about how this may have happened.” The family was notified.

The state surveyor conducted an interview with the facility’s Administrator on 09/27/2015 who indicated that “during the investigation [the CNA] was getting the resident up for dinner and she did not follow the Care Plan for transferring.

The Charge Nurse at the facility notified the Administrator on 09/27/2015 indicating that the fracture and deep laceration to the resident’s great toe required “eight stitches” due to a one centimeter deep by four centimeters long laceration and that the resident “received a splint on the left foot.”

Our Little Rock nursing home neglect attorneys recognized the failing to follow protocols and provide adequate training when transferring residents could cause additional harm or injury. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at the facility failed to follow established policies adopted by Highlands of Little Rock at Cumberland Therapy. A failure might be considered negligence or mistreatment.

HIGHLANDS OF NORTH LITTLE ROCK THERAPY AND LIVING
2501 John Ashley Drive
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72114
(501) 758-3800

A “For-Profit” 140-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide Residents an Environment Free of Accident Hazards and Provide Trained Supervision to Prevent Avoidable Accidents

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 09/10/2015, a complaint investigation against the facility was opened for its failure to “ensure a fall mat was consistently in place as per the Plan of Care to decrease the potential of fall-related injuries and a manual transfer was conducted with the Care Plan level of assistance to prevent potential injury.” This deficient practice affected one resident at the facility “who lived on the A Wing.”

The state investigator reviewed reports and documents including the resident’s 09/10/2015 MDS (Minimum Data Set) Kardex Report documenting that “the resident had short and long-term memory problems, had moderately impaired cognitive skills for daily decision-making, and unclear speech, was sometimes understood, usually understood others, had falls without injury since admission or prior assessment.” In addition, the Kardex Report indicated that the resident “require the assistance of one person for transfers, was usually unsteady when moving from a seated to standing position, when walking and during service to service transfers and use of a wheelchair for mobility.”

A review of the resident’s Risk for Falls Form documented that the resident was assessed with a “fall risk score [of] 15” where any score “10 or above deems risk.” The 10/08/2015 Resident Incident Follow-Up Report documented that the resident required intervention with a low bed, physical therapy screen, fall mat.”

The complaint investigation was initiated after an 10/08/2015 5:12 PM observation where “the resident was lying in bed. There was a fall mat folded up, leaning against the wheelchair in his room.” The following morning at 10:35 AM, the state surveyor observed “the resident was sitting in a wheelchair in his room on A-Wing.” An observation was made that the resident “transferred himself from a wheelchair to the bed. A fall mat was folded up and leaving against the footboard of the bed. The resident sat on the bed with his feet touching the floor.”

The state surveyor observed the CNA providing the resident care at 11 AM returning “with linens and put the linens on the bed [then] assisted the resident to transfer from the wheelchair to the bed, without getting additional staff to help. The bed was placed in a low position.” As the CNA “exited the room; the fall mat remained folded up, leaning against the footboard of the bed.”

The state surveyor conducted a 09/10/2015 12:40 PM interview with the facility’s Registered Nurse in charge of providing the resident care and “was asked ‘how many people are required for transfer of [that resident]?” The Registered Nurse stated “Two.” The surveyor then asked the Registered Nurse “if the resident is in bed and no care is being provided, should the fall mat be in place?” The Registered Nurse responded “Yes.” When asked “where should it [the fall mat] be?” The Registered Nurse replied “(the fall mat should be) on the floor long ways, beside the bed. The other side of the bed is against the wall.”

Our North Little Rock nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that any failure to follow a resident’s Plan of Care could cause significant harm or injury to the resident. Failure by the nursing staff at Highlands of North Little Rock Therapy and Living might be considered negligence or mistreatment because the deficient practice does not follow the established procedures and protocols adopted by the facility.

HIGHLANDS OF LITTLE ROCK AT MIDTOWN THERAPY
5720 West Markham Street
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
(501) 664-6200

A “For-Profit” 154-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Provide a Level of Care and Services to Ensure the Resident Maintains Their Highest Well-Being

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 05/06/2015, a notation was made during an annual licensure and certification survey by a state investigator concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure the necessary care and services were provided in accordance with the Plan of Care to attain or maintain the highest practical physical well-being [of the resident].” The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Highlands of Little Rock at Midtown Therapy was “evidenced by the failure to monitor blood pressure readings to assess the need for as needed (PRN) anti-hypertensive medication.” This failure directly involved two residents at the facility “who had PRN anti—hypertensive medication orders based on blood pressure readings.”

The deficient practice was noted after a state investigator reviewed the March, April and May 2015 physician’s orders documenting residents were prescribed an anti-hypertension medication. However, a review of the March, April and May 2015 MAR (Medication Administration Record) between 03/01/2015 and 05/06/2015 did not document that the administration of the medicine was given as needed (PRN) or that blood pressure readings were taken every six hours “to determine if the resident required the PRN medication.”

The state surveyor conducted a 05/07/2015 3:00 PM interview with the facility’s Director of Nursing who was asked to provide “all blood pressure readings from the Certified Nursing Assistant computer kiosks or those documented in the resident’s clinical records [between] 03/01/2015 and 05/07/2015.”

The state surveyor noted that “there were 67 days between 03/01/2015 and 05/06/2015 with possible administration of [the resident’s medication being given four times a day] which equaled 268 opportunities for blood pressure readings to be taken. There was documentation of only 15 blood pressure readings during that time period.”

Our Little Rock nursing home neglect lawyers recognize that failing to follow protocols when administering medication per physician’s orders has the potential of causing significant harm or injury to the resident, especially if the deficient practice is repeated multiple times. The failure of the nursing staff at Highlands of Little Rock at Midtown Therapy might be considered negligence or mistreatment because it does not follow the established procedures, policies and protocols adopted by the facility.

HIGHLANDS OF LITTLE ROCK AT WOODLAND HILLS THERAPY
8701 Riley Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
(501) 224-2700

A “For-Profit” 140-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Follow Protocols to Ensure That Quality Lab Tests and Services Were Provided in a Timely Manner to Meet the Resident’s Needs

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 10/30/2015, a notation was made by a state investigator during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure lab was performed as ordered by the physician.” This deficient practice affected one resident at the facility “who had orders for lab work.” In addition, “the failed practice had the potential to affect 73 [residents] who had orders for lab work as was indicated by the 11/05/2015 MDS (Minimum Data Set).

The deficient practice was noted after the state surveyor conducted a review of the resident’s “14 Day admission MDS (Minimum Data Set) with an Assessment Reference date (ADR) of 10/14/2015.” The resident’s Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS) score is documented at 14 where “13 through 15 indicates cognitively intact.” The MDS (Minimum Data Set) in the case of the resident requires “nutrition and hydration intervention to manage skin problems and had a surgical wound.”

The documentation shows a 10/30/2015 physician’s order indicating that a Monday lab draw (every Monday) would have been due to be drawn on 10/05/2015. However, the state surveyor conducted in 10/28/2015 9:30 AM interview with the facility’s Licensed Practical Nurse who provides the resident care “if she could locate the lab results for [the resident as ordered by the physician which are] to be drawn every Monday for this resident. The LPN stated that she checked the chart and did not find the lab results [and stated] I will call the lab.” The Licensed Practical Nurse told the state surveyor a few minutes later “they [the lab services provider] did not have the results for this lab.” The state surveyor noted that the lab test to be performed every Monday had been missed three times over the course of three weeks for this resident.

Our Little Rock nursing home neglect lawyers recognize that failing to follow protocols and physician’s orders may cause direct harm or actual injury to the resident. The ongoing deficient practices of the nursing staff at Highlands of Little Rock at Woodland Hills Therapy might be considered mistreatment or neglect because it does not follow the established procedures, policies and protocols adopted by the facility.

LAKEWOOD HEALTH AND REHABILITATION CENTER
2323 McCain Boulevard
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72116
(501) 791-2323

A “For-Profit” 85-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Follow Procedures and Protocols to Minimize the Potential of Infection Spreading throughout the Facility

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 11/14/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “ensure staff wash their hands between dirty and clean tasks during incontinent care to prevent potential cross-contamination and infection.” This deficient practice by the nursing staff directly affected one resident at the facility “who require assistance with incontinent care.” Additionally, “this failed practice had the potential to affect those] who required assistance with incontinence care.”

The state surveyor conducted a full review of the resident’s records including their Significant Change MDS (Minimum Data Set) with an Assessment Reference Date (ARD) of 09/27/2015. The document indicates that the resident scored “3” where a score between zero and seven “indicates severely impaired” on the resident’s Brief Interview for Mental Status (BIMS). In addition, the resident was documented as being “totally incontinent of bowel and bladder and required extensive assistance with personal hygiene.”

The complaint investigation was initiated after an observation of two Certified Nursing Assistants providing incontinent care to a resident on 11/03/2015 at 8:33 AM.” Both CNA’s “had initiated the care prior to the surveyor entering the room. The resident’s bedside table was behind [one CNA and] the resident’s water cup was on the table, along with the dirty dressing. The CNA washed the tear, then [one CNA] removed her gloves and place them on the bedside table with the dirty dressing [then] turned around to tell [the other CNA] that she was going to get a clean pillow case, then pick up the gloves and dirty dressing with her bare hands and handed them to [the other CNA], who had already removed her gloves.”

The second CNA then “took the gloves and dressing with her bare hands and placed them in the trash [while the first CNA] raise the side rail on the bed, positioned the call light within reach of the resident and still without washing her hands, walked out of the room, touching the door to open and close the door.” Entering the room with a pillowcase in a trash bag, the CNA handed the bag to the other CNA who then “took the clean pillow case out of the bag, placed it on the pillow, positioned a pillow between the resident’s knees, then adjusted the position of the bed using the bed controls with their hands. [The CNA] was asked where the dressing came from. She stated, from the inside of the right shin. She pulled the blanket back to reveal a large skin tear to the right lower inner leg. [That CNA then] wash your hands before leaving the room [while the other CNA] used a wall mounted hand sanitizer before leaving the room.”

Our North Little Rock nursing home neglect attorneys recognize that failing to follow protocols to minimize the potential spread of infection throughout the facility could cause serious harm to the health and well-being of other residents. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Lakewood Health and Rehabilitation Center might be considered mistreatment or negligence because it fails to follow the facility’s policy titled: Infection Control General Policy Statement that reads in part:

“Precautions are used in the care of patients regardless of their [medical condition]. The facility requires staff to wash their hands after direct patient contact as prescribed by accepted professional practice. Employees handle, store, process and transport linens and waste in a manner that prevents the spread of infection.”

PRESBYTERIAN VILLAGE
500 Brookside Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
(501) 225-1615

A “Not for Profit” 78-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Follow Procedures and Protocols to Minimize the Potential of Infection Spreading throughout the Facility

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 05/14/2015, a notation was made by a state investigator during an annual licensure and certification survey concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure staff correctly adhere to contact isolation procedures, to minimize the potential for further infection for [a resident at the facility] on contact isolation precautions.” In addition, the facility also failed to:

  • “store respiratory equipment in a zip lock bag or sealed container…
  • “promptly empty infectious waste containers when full…
  • “ensure nursing staff avoided touching the applicator tip of an eye drop container to the resident’s eye or eyelid during administration to prevent potential cross-contamination and infection…”
  • “ensure a used oral medication syringe was clean before storing for future use to prevent potential cross-contamination that could result in an illness [of a resident] who require the use of a syringe for oral medication”

The failed practices by the nursing staff working at Presbyterian Village “had the potential to affect the resident who resided on the third floor and required contact isolation.” The state surveyor made a notation that 18 residents at the facility “who had physician ordered eye drops and two residents who were administered oral medication via syringe” could have been affected by the deficient practice

The deficient practice was noted after a 05/11/2015 5:55 PM observation of a Licensed Practical Nurse at the facility entering “the resident’s room in gown and gloves, placed the resident supper tray on the over bed table and fed the resident. The supper tray was approximately 14 inches from the two red biohazard containers of soiled linens and isolation trash cans in front of the resident’s bathroom door.”

Three days later between 8:30 AM and 8:45 AM on 05/14/2015, a different Licensed Practical Nurse “provided the resident with an updraft treatment [placing] the nebulizer machine and the clear plastic bag containing the mask and medication chamber on the resident’s bed, administer the updraft and disposed of the solution remaining in the medication chamber then without rinsing out the medication chamber, placed the mask back into the clear plastic bag and placed the bag in the top bedside drawer.” This deficient practice violates the facility’s 05/14/2015 policy titled: Updraft that reads in part “mask or pipette must be kept in zip lock bag.”

The state surveyor noted that at 10:30 AM on 05/13/2015, “the isolation trash can in [the resident’s] room was overflowing onto of four sides of the container, with yellow gowns protruding approximately six inches out of the can.” This deficient practice violates the facility’s policy titled: Contact Isolation Procedure that reads in part:

“Barrels will be placed in the resident’s room (preferably in the resident’s bathroom, if the resident does not use it). If barrel becomes full in between times and needs to be empty, the nursing staff will empty trash and pull linens and dispose of them in the biohazard waste located in the biohazard/soiled linen room.”

Finally, the state surveyor noted during an observation at 3:41 PM on 03/13/2015 that a Licensed Practical Nurse providing care to a resident “administer the artificial tear eye drops, one drop to both eyes, and touched both eyelids with a bio tip of the eye drop bottle.”

The following day at 10:50 AM, an observation was made where a “resident was in the dining room eating breakfast [when a Licensed Practical Nurse] placed a syringe with medication into the resident’s mouth and administer the 8:00 AM medications. The resident bit the tip of the syringe during the medication administration. [Afterwards, the LPN] placed the syringe back in the box without cleaning the syringe for use at the next medication pass.

Our Little Rock nursing home neglect lawyers recognize that any failure to follow protocols that minimizes the potential spread of infection throughout the facility could cause significant harm in actual injury to other residents. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Presbyterian Village violates numerous policies and procedures adopted by the facility.

ROBINSON NURSING AND REHABILITATION CENTER
519 Donovan Briley Blvd.
North Little Rock, Arkansas 72118
(501) 753-9003

A “For-Profit” 110-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 2 out of 5 possible stars

2 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Follow Procedures and Protocols to Prevent the Development of New Bedsores and Allow Existing Bedsores to Heal

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 12/31/2015, a notation was made during an annual licensure and certification survey by a state investigator concerning the facility’s failure to “ensure heels were off-loaded, a specialty mattress was calibrated per the manufacturer’s guidelines and repositioned without the creation of shearing forces was provided at least every two hours to relieve pressure and minimize the potential for development of pressure ulcers.” In addition, the state investigator noted that the facility also “failed to:

Ensure skin audits were conducted and documented at least weekly to ensure any potential areas of skin breakdown were promptly identified and addressed for [a resident at the facility] at risk for pressure ulcer development.”

The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center “had the potential to affect 72 residents who are at risk for pressure ulcer development.”

The deficient practice was noted after the state surveyor conducted a review of a resident’s records including their Quarterly MDS (Minimum Data Set) with an Assessment Reference Date of 10/03/2015. The report documents that “the resident was severely impaired with cognitive skills for daily decision-making.” The resident’s Staff Assessment for Mental Status noted that the resident “was totally dependent for bed mobility, toilet use, personal injury and bathing, was at risk for and had no pressure ulcers.”

The state investigator also conducted a review of the resident’s 12/03/2015 Plan of Care the documents that “the resident is at risk for skin breakdown [related to] use pad/brief daily, total incontinence of bowel, and bedfast most of the day, with interventions.” The interventions included monitoring the resident “every two hours for incontinence and change incontinence pads when wet every two hours and PRN (as needed).” The treatment provided by the medical staff was to follow doctor’s orders and “peri-care after incontinence episodes.” The nursing staff was to “monitor for signs of redness, turn and reposition every two hours. Used positioning devices, specialty mattress placed on bed.”

The resident’s undated Plan of Care indicated there were no skin wounds, “monitor skin during bath and ADL (activities of daily living) care, and heel protectors. The Resident’s Weekly Skin Audits between 08/15/2015 and 11/21/2015 indicate there are no documented “pressure ulcers or reddened areas to the resident’s heels.” There were no Weekly Skin Audits available between 11/22/2015 and 12/29/2015.

A 4:00 PM 12/28/2015 observation of the resident who “was resting in bed with a specialty mattress present. The resident’s feet were directly on the surface of the bed and there were no heel protectors on the resident’s feet. The resident was leaned to the left side. Nearly 1.5 hours later at 5:23 PM, “the resident was lying on his left side with feet directly on the surface of the bed.” The following morning at 8:35 AM, “the resident was sitting in a Geri-Chair, was leaned to the left side with his right foot directly on the surface of the chair.”

The state surveyor noted that during incontinence care, the resident “was turned to his left side and [the CNA providing care] rolled the soil brief and tucked it under the resident’s body [who was] then turned to his right side and [a different CNA] leaned back and pull debris from under the right hip, which caused shearing forces to the resident’s skin.”

In a separate observation occurring on 12/29/2015 at 9:05 AM, 10:05 AM, 10:35 AM, 11:00 AM and 11:45 AM “the resident remained positioned on his back in the same position […and] was kept in line of sight of the surveyor at all times [for a period of time lasting two hours and 40 minutes].”

That same day at 11:50 AM, the state surveyor requested a body audit of the resident which was performed five minutes later by two CNA’s who entered the room. Notations were made that “indentations and creases were present from the resident’s buttocks and extended up the resident’s mid back area […and] the resident’s left heel had a dark red area that did not blanch […and] right heel exhibited a darkened area that did not blanch.”

The state surveyor conducted a 12/30/2015 1:15 PM interview with the facility’s Director of Nursing who indicated that the resident should be repositioned “every two hours.”

Our North Little Rock nursing home neglect lawyers recognize that failing to follow protocols to prevent the development of bedsores on residents at high risk for developing bedsores could cause significant harm to their health and well-being. The deficient practice by the nursing staff at Robinson Nursing and Rehabilitation Center might be considered mistreatment or negligence.

SANDALWOOD HEALTH CARE
2600 John Barrow Road
Little Rock, Arkansas 72204
(501) 224-4173

A “For-Profit” 139-certified bed Medicaid/Medicare-participating facility

Overall Rating – 1 out of 5 possible stars

1 star rating

Primary Concerns –

Failure to Follow Protocols to Report and Investigate Any Act or Report of Sexual Abuse of Residents

In a summary statement of deficiencies dated 05/29/2015, a complaint investigation was opened against the facility for its failure to “ensure an allegation of possible staff to resident abuse toward male residents was thoroughly investigated and reported to the Office of Long-Term Care (OLTC) by 11:00 AM the next business day after discovery in accordance with state law.”

The state investigator also noted that the facility’s failure “to immediately put protective measures in place to prevent further potential abuse of male residents while the facility’s investigation was ongoing.” There was an additional rotation of another deficient practice that included the facility’s failure “to ensure the facility’s efforts to investigate the allegation were promptly and completely documented.” These deficient practices and failures by Sandalwood Health Care directly affected one resident at the facility but “had the potential to affect 35 [male resident’s].”

The complaint investigation was initiated after a full review of the facility’s 05/21/2015 OLTC (Office of Long-Term Care) Incident an Accident Report noting that “there was a call in, that stated we had [an LPN with a name that matched the name of a housekeeper at the facility] that was sexually abusing a male resident. We [the facility] do not have an LPN by that name and no resident name was given.”

The Administrator provided the facility’s investigation documentation on 05/28/2015 however “there was no documentation of any witness statements from cognitively intact male residents, interviews with staff from all departments, observation rounds that were conducted to monitor for potential abuse, monitoring specifically of the housekeeping employee whose name was reported to the facility as an LPN, and no further documented reports to [the office of long-term care].” In addition, the investigator noted that there was “no documented information to verify if and/or when the law enforcement agency was notified.” The Administrator did provide a 05/27/2015 list of current employees that documented “the facility did have an employee [a housekeeper] whose name was the same as the one reported to [the office of long-term care] as the alleged perpetrator.”

At first, the Administrator at the facility indicated that there is no nurse working there with the identical name of one of the housekeepers. When the Administrator “was asked if there was an employee at the facility with the same name as the one reported as the alleged perpetrator, the Administrator stated ‘Yes’.”

The state surveyor asked the Administrator “who completed the investigation” and the Administrator responded “myself and [the Assistant Director of Nursing].” However, the Administrator admitted that no cognitively intact male residents were interviewed and “when the facility got the call (about the allegation…) the police did not come here.”

“The Administrator was asked if the employee named in the allegation had been suspended when the allegation was received and the Administrator stated ‘No’.”

The state investigator showed documentation of one the investigation was submitted to the State Agency noting that “it was stamped with the date of 05/22/2015 at 2:51 PM (which is beyond the required initial reporting time.”

The state investigator asked the Administrator “if anyone was assigned to monitor [the alleged perpetrator] while she was on the hall with the residents.” The Administrator responded “No.” When asked “if there was an allegation of abuse that involves a staff member, should the staff member be suspended until the completion of the investigation, the facility’s Administrator stated “Yes.”

Our Little Rock nursing home sexual abuse attorneys recognize that any failure to follow protocols to suspend employees allegedly involved in sexual assault has the potential of causing additional harm to the resident and places all other residents at risk. The deficient practice by the Administrator and nursing staff at Sandalwood Health Care might be considered negligence, mistreatment or additional abuse.

Continue Reading: Little Rock Arkansas Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys - Part 2

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