June 10, 2014

DPH Fines Stamford Convalescent Home, Requires Hiring A Consultant

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A Stamford convalescent home has been fined $2,000 by the state Department of Public Health for numerous violations, including a failure to protect residents and staff members from a knife-wielding resident.

Long Ridge of Stamford signed a consent order with DPH on May 20 agreeing to the fine and to hiring a consultant to monitor nearly all aspects of its operation, including nursing care, customer service, dietary services, staff interaction and nursing supervision.

In a letter last July to the care and convalescent home, DPH officials outlined 17 pages of violations of state regulations ranging from a failure to respond to residents’ complaints to a failure to provide psychiatric care for the aggressive patient who threatened employees and another resident at knifepoint on March 15, 2013.

Long Ridge’s administrator could not be reached for comment.

In the case of the aggressive resident, DPH found that the home failed to provide one-on-one supervision of the person and failed to obtain an emergency certificate to have the resident transferred to a psychiatric facility.

In March 2013, the resident had paced the hallways while naked, screamed that he or she was the devil, pulled his or her hair and locked him or herself in a bathroom, DPH records show.

That March 15, he or she threatened to kill a resident, an occupational therapist and a nurse with one or two knives, records show. No one was injured, and the person was sent to a psychiatric facility, records show.

In November 2012, a resident slipped out of a shower chair and broke a leg, records show. The home should have provided a seat belt for the chair, DPH concluded.

In April 2013, a resident with Parkinson’s disease was able to leave the home through a door that had a broken magnet and because the alarm on the door did not sound at the nurses’ station, records show. The resident was safely returned to the home by a visitor.

DPH found that a licensed practical nurse failed to give a resident with congestive heart failure the required medication for nearly three hours in May 2013.

In another case that month, the home failed to provide a resident with the proper care to prevent a pressure sore for seven days, and the resident did develop a sore, DPH found.

DPH also found that the home also failed to monitor the side effects of psychotropic medicine or failed to order lab tests for some residents.

The state also found that the home failed to do background checks when hiring four new employees, failed to respond to a resident’s request for a change in catheterization care and failed to follow-up on a spouse’s complaint about a resident’s care, records show.

From May 2012 to 2013, the resident council repeatedly complained about poor call bell response times, food service, staff members not wearing name tags and nurses’ aides not speaking English in patient care areas. The home did prepare a food improvement plan, but otherwise took little action, DPH records show.

Records show the home has already hired a consultant who will perform at least 80 hours of monitoring and who will report back to DPH on the home’s progress in meeting regulations.

 

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