Rarely do nursing homes have isolated problems. Rather, problems with patient care usually stem from a culture of poor staff training and under-staffing. Case in point– The Summerville at Potomac nursing facility in Maryland. Following a routine inspection, state and county nursing home surveyors discovered numerous violations governing patient care in nursing homes. Among the violations, the surveyors discovered: improperly care for pressure ulcers, mismanaged patients’ medication, lack of fall precautions for patients prone to falling and patients with excessive weight gain and loss.
According to Wendy Kronmiller, director of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Office of Health Care Quality, many of the reported problems can be attributed to a lack of coordination of care. The survey found that Summerville lacked a delegating nurse to monitor care of each resident. Despite state laws that require a delegating nurse to visit the facility every 45 days, no delegating nurse had visited the facility for months.
In addition to receiving a $10,000 fine and a ban on admission of new patients, the facility was ordered to complete a six-point ‘directed plan of correction’. The plan includes the following mandates:
- Appointment of a full-time registered nurse
- Conduct an examination of each patients skin
- Hire a wound care specialist to address pressure ulcers
- Hire a monitor to report conditions to officials
- Notify residents families about the conditions found in the survey
Obviously the nursing home’s decision to provide a ‘bare bones’ staffing of the facility had a drastically negative impact on patient care. Nonetheless, a $10,000 fine still seems like little more than a slap on the wrist to a publicly traded corporation that owns the facility. The Summerville at Potomac is owned by Emeritus Corporation. Emeritus owns and operates 289 nursing homes in 37 states. Read more about this Maryland Nursing Home here.