In cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect, filing a complaint with a state agency regarding the incident can be incredibly important with respect to getting answers about how an incident occurred and securing valuable information should the matter be litigated in the future.
John Kormanik who produces an excellent Nursing Home Abuse Advocate Blog, recently made some extremely useful suggestions before initiating the complaint with your state agency. Here are John’s suggestions:
- Provider / Facility Name and City
- Name of Patient/Resident
- Detailed Statement of Care Provided And Any Negative Outcomes
- Names of Witnesses
- Your Name and Contact Information; unless you wish to remain anonymous.
Of course, if I may add my own two cents, I would add the follow:
Report the incident as soon as feasible
Reporting an incident as soon after it occurs provides investigators with the best opportunity to access records, witnesses and staff with knowledge. In many circumstances, facilities have such high staff turnover that, a witness to an incident may be long gone– within months of an incident.
Be as succinct at possible
After fielding calls all day, do you really think the men and women on the other end of the line want to hear all the details of your favorite sushi restaurant or how Grandma Sue is a huge Cubs Fan?
Seriously, report the information that is relevant to the event and stop. Too much information will just detract from the seriousness of your complaint.
Above all, I strongly encourage people to report all situations involving questionable care or injury to your state’s department of public health or ombudsmen program.