Officials from the North Carolina Department of Health and Medicare slapped a $210,000 fine on Sunnybrook Healthcare and Rehabilitation following an investigation that determined the facility failed to identify and report serious bruising of a resident. As we discussed, authorities were alerted after 88-year-old Della Jarrett was found with multiple facial bruises.
Staff at Sunnybrook offered no explanation for the bruising despite the fact that Weaver was bed-bound, making any self-inflicted injury virtually impossible.
Jarrett’s daughter’s complaint triggered an investigation into the matter by North Carolina officials. Despite the visible bruising, officials were unable to confirm if the bruises were indeed related to abuse. Nonetheless, investigators cited the facility for multiple violations that put residents at risk for ‘immediate risk of harm’.
Nursing Homes Responsibility To Investigate & Report Abuse
Nursing homes have a non-delegable duty to provide all necessary care to help patients maintain their highest level of physical and psychological well being (F-Tag 309). Obviously, this means facilities must an environment free from all forms of abuse (F-Tag 309 and F-Tag 223).
Especially when caring for disabled patients, nursing homes must take maximum precautions to ensure their well being. Relatively, simple preventative measures on the part of the facility can ensure a safe environment for patients. Nursing homes should:
- Conduct a pre-employment background check of all employees
- Have staff routinely check on bed-bound or disabled residents
- Restrict visitors to those who are approved by family
- Keep younger residents away from more fragile residents
- Investigate all allegations and signs of physical and psychological abuse