Published on:

Failing To Report Nursing Home Violence Results In Sanctions Against Facility

Report Nursing Home Violence

Violence in a nursing home setting can take place at any time– at any facility.  While there certainly are procedures that facilities can put into place to reduce the number of these incidents, each episode needs to be closely examined to determine the specifics behind the incident and to prevent the eruption of similar problems in the future.

While not every episode of violence may be physical in nature or result in injury to the patients involved, it is still incumbent on facilities to report and investigate these situations to prevent escalation and ensure patients remain free from physical and psychological harm.

Ignoring episodes of verbal or physical abuse in nursing homes does no more to improve patient safety than when episodes of severe neglect go ignored and un-investigated.  

As a nursing home lawyer involved in nursing home violence matters, I was pleased to see how the Minnesota Department of Health handled a series of episodes involving violence Franciscan Health Center where residents at the facility were verbally and physically assaulted at the facility— though no residents required medical care for their injuries.

The department dispensed three ‘Level F’ deficiencies for the manner in which the facility handled a series of incidents occurring in August, October, and January– primarily for the delay in immediately reporting the incidents to the health department.  Under the parameters of a Level F sanction, the deficiencies are indicative of “widespread deficiencies that constitute no actual harm with the potential for more than minimal harm that is not immediate jeopardy.  

As part of the state’s protocol for these matters, the facility is permitted to respond to the findings in the form of a plan of correction to address the incidents and prevent future matters from arising.  

According to a news article in the Deluth News Tribune highlighting these incidents, the following circumstances were documented:

  • August 2011: A resident intentionally ‘bumped’ the wheelchair of another resident and attempted to prevent the resident from leaving the area. In retaliation the patient in the wheelchair hit the resident on the head.
  • October 2011: A resident verbally threatened to punch another resident in the face.
  • January, 2011: Resident physically assaulted a peer and indicated to staff that he intended further violence.

While the above incidents may seem relatively harmless given the lack of serious harm, these episodes have the potential to quickly escalate without the intervention of staff.  Educating staff on the early signs of patient violence and the need to report these incidents as they would any other concerning act will hopefully improve the safety of patients at this facility.

For more information on nursing homes in Chicago look here. For laws related to Illinois nursing homes, look here.

Related Nursing Homes Abuse Blog Entries:

Another Nursing Home Patient Dies Related To Violence Perpetrated By Peer

Patient Beaten To Death In Chicago Nursing Home

Is Assisted Living Facility To Blame For Murder Of Patient?

Client Reviews

  • Having worked in the medical field, I appreciated the way that Mr. Rosenfeld and his staff approached my family’s situation. The combination of medical knowledge and legal expertise was indeed the winning combination for our case.
  • While nothing can change the way our mother was treated at a nursing facility, I do feel a sense of vindication that the facility was forced to pay for their treatment. I am certain that they would never have done had my attorneys not held their feet to the fire.
  • I was very nervous about initiating a claim against my mother’s nursing facility, but Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers took care of everything from getting the medical records to going to court. I felt like I had real advocates on my side. That meant a lot to me.
  • After a horrific episode at a nursing home, my sister and I spoke to a number of law firms. No one took the time to answer our questions and explain the legal process like Mr. Rosenfeld. He did a tremendous job on our case and I can see why he’s earned the praise he has from clients and peers.
  • I liked the fact that I could call the office and ask questions about the legal process at anytime. I could tell that my case was in good hands. I think that this was reflected in my father’s settlement was more than I anticipated the case ever being worth.