State Board Fines, Disciplines Nurses

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week disciplined three nurses, including issuing a total of $1,500 in fines and placing two nurses’ licenses on probation. The advanced practical registered nurse (APRN) license of Jane M. Buckley of Wallingford was placed on probation for a year and she was fined $500 by the board for inappropriately prescribing controlled substances from January-July 2018 to a patient despite evidence of addiction, according to her signed consent order. Buckley also failed to provide requested medical records in a timely manner, failed to maintain adequate treatment documents, and failed to appropriately assess, manage and/or treat addiction and/or mental health issues, according to the consent order. Buckley’s license had previously been reprimanded and placed on probation in June 2018 for prescribing a controlled substance to a family member without adequate treatment records in 2015 and 2016, according to the consent order. Buckley successfully completed that probation on Dec.

Nursing Homes Fined Following Resident Sexual Assault, Falls, Medication Error

Six nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that endangered or injured residents. Apple Rehab West Haven was fined $6,960 after a resident reported being sexually assaulted by a visitor. On Oct. 2, 2018, a licensed practical nurse (LPN) saw the resident and a male visitor naked in the resident’s room, and the resident told the LPN they’d just had sex, according to DPH. The LPN asked the resident several times if she was alright and the resident replied that the male was her boyfriend.

14 Hospitals Penalized For High Infection Rates, Injuries

Fourteen Connecticut hospitals are being penalized by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), losing 1% of their Medicare reimbursements this fiscal year for having high rates of hospital-acquired infections and injuries, new data show. The hospitals are among 786 nationwide being penalized under the Hospital-Acquired Conditions Reduction Program, which was created under the Affordable Care Act, according to a Kaiser Health News (KHN) analysis. The program is in its sixth year and the latest Medicare reimbursement penalties are for the current fiscal year, which began in October 2019 and runs through September. When assessing penalties, CMS considers the number of infections, blood clots, sepsis cases, pressure ulcers, and other complications that may have been prevented. The 14 hospitals losing 1% of their Medicare reimbursements are: Waterbury Hospital, Stamford Hospital, Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford Springs, Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington, Midstate Medical Center in Meriden, Middlesex Hospital, and Windham Community Memorial Hospital & Hatch Hospital in Willimantic.

Med Board Disciplines Two Doctors; Fines Weston Doc $7,500

The state Medical Examining Board voted Tuesday to discipline two physicians including issuing a $7,500 fine and one-year probation to a Weston doctor who prescribed opioids to six people without discussing pain management treatment goals or informing the patients of the risks in taking the drugs. The board also agreed to discipline a physician assistant who had told a patient suffering from a pulmonary blood clot to “lose weight.”

While working at the PCA Pain Care Center in Wallingford from 2014–2016, Dr. David Marks, of Weston, primarily prescribed opioids and no other pain care treatment to six people, according to a consent order. Marks failed to obtain patient histories pertaining to their injuries or previous pain management treatment, failed to discuss treatment goals, or warn people of the risks associated with opioids, the consent order said. He also failed to consult the state’s Prescription Monitoring and Reporting System to see if the patients were receiving prescriptions from other practitioners and failed to assess the patients’ mental status for depression or suicidality or document his findings, the consent order he signed said. The board fined Marks $7,500 and placed him probation for one year during which he’ll be required to have supervision when prescribing Schedule II or III controlled substances.

State Issues Reprimands, Probation For Nurses

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing on Wednesday disciplined four nurses for drug use and other violations. The board placed the LPN license of Ashley E. Lambert of Thompson on probation for four years and ordered her to attend therapy, undergo random drug tests and attend a support group eight to 10 times a month, according to her signed consent order. According to documents, Lambert was found to have abused or used to excess heroin, cocaine, marijuana and Trazadone from 1998 until April 2019. The board also reprimanded the registered nurse (RN) license of Elaine B. Simms-Walton of Enfield, placed her license on probation for six months, and ordered her to take coursework in advanced directives and critical thinking. According to her signed consent order, Simms-Walton was working as a nurse supervisor with a resident who had a physician’s order that requested life-sustaining treatment, including CPR, in an emergency.

Nursing Homes Fined For Privacy Violation, Verbal Abuse And Injuries

Six nursing homes have been fined by the state for violating a resident’s privacy, verbally abusing a resident and for violations that resulted in residents’ injuries. Whitney Center in Hamden was fined $6,120 after a nurse aide used her personal cellphone to take a picture of a resident being transferred to a shower chair with a Hoyer lift on June 18, 2019, according to a citation issued by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The resident and nurse aide disagreed on what happened, according to DPH.  The aide said the resident wanted the photo taken, but the resident said that was not the case. The aide deleted the photo from the cellphone.

Hospital Errors Rose 7% In 2018

The number of “adverse events” occurring at Connecticut hospitals rose 7% in 2018, compared with the previous year, with a growing number of patients suffering serious injury or death associated with falls, according to a new state report. Overall, the total number adverse events, or medical errors, reported by hospitals rose to 376, from 351 in 2017, according to the state Department of Public Health (DPH). Of the 29 categories tracked, tallies rose in 12, declined in seven and remained flat in 10. “I’m very discouraged by the report,” said Lisa Freeman, executive director of the Connecticut Center for Patient Safety. “Some of these numbers, they give me chills, they’re so frightening.

Inspection Reports: Hospitals Cited For Testing Error That Resulted In Unnecessary Surgery, Patient Deaths, Failure To Investigate Complaint Of Patient Abuse

A hysterectomy performed on a patient based on a faulty test result, and the death of two patients after failing to receive necessary monitoring or medication, failure to immediately investigate a complaint of patient abuse by a doctor, were among the incidents cited in the latest round of hospital inspection reports conducted by the state Department of Public Health (DPH). The 24 new reports, which can be found in C-HIT’s Data Mine Section, cover state inspections that took place at hospitals last year and earlier this year. At Bridgeport Hospital, a patient underwent a total hysterectomy after her biopsy results were contaminated by another patient’s. The patient had a hysteroscopy procedure on Dec. 3, 2018, during which a biopsy was taken.

Snapchat Post, A Fall And A Death Lead To Nursing Homes’ Fines

Three nursing homes have been fined by the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for violations that include posting a video on social media of a resident in a wheelchair asking for a cheese sandwich. Montowese Health and Rehabilitation Center in North Haven was fined $1,320 after a nurse aide posted the video of the resident on Snapchat, DPH said. On Aug. 29, 2019, a family member of the resident called the facility to complain about the video. In the video, the resident was seated in a wheelchair, wearing a white helmet and repeatedly asking for a grilled cheese sandwich.

State Board Revokes 3 Nurses’ Licenses; Disciplines 4 Others

The state Board of Examiners for Nursing last week revoked the licenses of three nurses and disciplined four other nurses, mostly for drug or alcohol abuse. The licensed practical nurse (LPN) license of Dionne Brown of Bristol was revoked after she was found to have abused or utilized to excess oxycodone and Percocet in 2015 and 2016 while working at Village Green of Bristol Rehabilitation & Health Center; requested and was granted continuances of two hearings on her license; and then failed to attend a scheduled hearing in March 2019. The board also revoked the LPN license of Christine DeFusco of Rocky Hill after she failed to comply with the terms of her four-year probation that began Jan. 1, 2019, for using alcohol to excess; and for failing to attend a hearing after she was notified of her non-compliance with the terms of her probation, which included submitting to random drug tests. The LPN license of Katie Ann Martins of Naugutuck was revoked by the board after it found her abuse of alcohol, Klonopin and cocaine affected her ability to practice as a nurse.