The report of staff at the Edgewood Vista Assisted Living Facility, incorrectly telling the family of a resident she was dead gave me chills. For six hours the family mourned the loss of their loved one–no reason to second guess the grim message. An afternoon-shift nurse at the facility caught the mistake while making medication rounds and realized the facility had mistakenly switched the roommates identities– and realized the ‘deceased’ resident was very much alive. Officials at the assisted living facility, acknowledge the mistake happened because the roommates charts were ‘mixed up’ and because the death occurred early in the morning when ’employees working that shift weren’t familiar with the two roommates.’
The ‘mix-up’ in identity also resulted the assisted living facility to failing to see a DNR order in the deceased’s chart. Consequently, the facility attempted to resuscitate the woman and ignored her wishes to go to a specific funeral home.
How long had this ‘mix up’ been in place? I imagine there are countless ‘mix ups’ with roommates taking place everyday throughout nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals. Nonetheless, mistakes impacting to patient care are inexcusable. Facilities need to take all necessary steps to assure residents and their families that they are actually providing the specified care to the person it is prescribed for.