Reporting Poor Care
Not all medical facilities provide the same level of care. In fact, some facilities perform significantly better than others offering identical services in the same community. Poor hygiene, the development of bedsores, lack of nutrition, dehydration, slipping and falling are all indicators of potential abuse at a medical facility.
Often times, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, group homes, medical centers and hospitals provide care with minimal staff that are often overworked, tired and fatigued. In addition, many staff members and aides providing care to the aging and infirmed lack formal education in proper established methods for providing optimized health care to meet the needs of their patients.
Reporting poor care is the first step in stopping the neglect and abuse. Formalizing a complaint submitted to the facility itself, police, advocates, CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services), a state survey agency or public health department can alert others of the serious problem. Many families with loved one suffering poor care in a medical facility can file a complaint, alerting others of the neglect, abuse, minimal staffing, unsanitary or unsafe conditions, mistreatment or dietary issues.
Victims of poor care can be residents of a medical facility or temporarily staying in:
- Nursing homes, nursing facilities or skilled nursing care
- Assisted living facilities
- Group homes, residential homes and immediate care facilities offering services for individuals who are intellectually disabled, aging or infirmed
- Hospice agencies, home health agencies, rehabilitation centers and birthing centers
- State-supported living facilities
Additionally, individuals receiving at home care can file a formal complaint against care providers offering the following:
- At home hospice care
- Home health
- Adult day care
- Personal assistance
Once a formal complaint has been submitted, follow-up action by the agency or facility is necessary to ensure that the abuse and neglect stops immediately. Regulatory agencies often investigate reports of poor care, often times arriving unannounced at the facility to perform the following:
- Visual observations of the condition of the patient and facility
- A full review of records outlining the care given the patient
- Conducted interviews with the individual filing the complaint along with the patient’s family members, staff and other residents in the facility
The law requires that certified or licensed healthcare providers notify regulatory agencies when any signs of neglect, abuse (mental or physical) or exploitation of the patient occurs. Healthcare providers are likely required to report poor care that could lead to serious consequences including:
- Missing residents
- Misappropriation of funds
- Medication overdose
- Giving the patient the wrong prescription
- Inadequate treatment or care by the doctor or hospital
- Misdiagnosis, no diagnosis or delayed diagnosis
- Inadequate instructions at the time of discharge
- Improper management of healthcare
- Unnecessary death
- Injury of an unknown source
- Any situation posing a threat to the patient or resident receiving care
Unfortunately, reporting poor care might not happen because signs of neglect and abuse are not always obvious. The lack of proper nutrition, misdiagnosis of a medical condition, or the development of a bedsore can be an indicator of poor care in a medical facility. Often times, these problems go unreported, because they are undetected by loved ones or others at the facility until the situation becomes critical.
In many incidences, the performance of a doctor, nurse or medical staff might be inappropriate, inept, dishonest or illegal. The practices and conduct of the team may mistreat the patient causing harm or injury. Patients not receiving quality care are often placed at risk to serious complications that could lead to death.
In the event that corrective action is not being taken by a regulatory agency, the facility or medical staff to improve health care, legal action is often required. Hiring an attorney to file a complaint with one or more agencies, or filing documents to be submitted to court, is usually a wise decision for families wanting to take immediate steps to improve the health of a loved one being poorly treated. Skilled attorneys comprehensive in personal injury law can assist the victim using the courts as an intervention to the problem.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC at (800) 926-7565 provide a free consultation with the victim or loved ones to evaluate the case of abuse, neglect and poor care. Our skilled legal team can take immediate action to stop the careless or reckless actions of medical staff causing harm to the victim. With our years of experience, we have helped many families in northeast Illinois obtain financial compensation for the damages endured through the negligence or malpractice of others.