Acting on an anonymous tip alleging improper care, investigators from the Indiana Department of Public Health conducted an inspection of the Royal Oaks Health Care and Rehabilitation Center. The inspection revealed 13 violations of federal nursing home laws.
Although the person initiating the investigation had a relative who developed advanced bedsores (also called decubitus ulcers, pressure sores or pressure ulcers) and sepsis during their stay at Royal Oak, the investigation concluded that no residents were harmed by the violations. “There were deficient practices and violations of federal regulations, but no one was actually harmed,” said Ellen Greig, a spokeswoman with the Centers for Medicare / Medicaid Services Chicago Regional Office.
Among the findings documented in a 90-page nursing home inspection survey include:
- Nurses failing to follow proper sanitation guidelines
- Staff failing to follow bedsore treatment and prevention guidelines
- Failure to properly use mechanical lifts
- Having enough nurses to care for every resident in a way that maximizes the resident’s well-being.
- Making sure that each resident who enters the nursing home without a catheter is not given a catheter unless it is necessary.
- Making sure that residents who cannot care for themselves receive help with eating/drinking, grooming and hygiene.
- Making sure the doctors visit residents regularly, as required.
- Having drugs and other similar products available, which are needed every day and in emergencies, and give them out properly.
In response to the findings, Royal Oaks administrator Brenda Hatfield issued a statement. “[T]his is normal survey activity and we embrace the opportunity to work with the state to examine and enhance our care delivery system through education and training of staff. We have submitted a plan of correction for the issues the state identified and are confident the state will find us to be in substantial compliance upon their revisit.”
Was the inspection worthwhile?
Federal and state regulation of nursing homes provides essential guidelines for the safety and well-being of nursing home residents. In most cases, nursing home inspectors are the exclusive means to establish if the facility was able to provide adequate care to residents. Even if inspectors failed to establish that residents sustained injuries due to the facilities safety violations, the report will become part of the facilities file.
Nursing home inspections also ensure safety violations get corrected to protect not just the current residents of the facility, but the safety of future resident’s as well. Most states allow residents and families of residents to make anonymous reports of safety violations to authorities. If you suspect improper care or safety violations, here is a useful resource to find the regional agency to report the issues to.
Royal Oaks is part of Kindred Healthcare, a national hospital and long-term care conglomerate. Nursing Home Law Center LLC has successfully represented individuals and families in matters against Kindred. We invite you to speak with our team of nursing home attorneys for a complimentary consultation. Please fill out this form and and we will promptly contact you to discuss your matter.
For laws related to Indiana nursing homes, look here.
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