Residents’ Absences, Injuries Result In Nursing Home Fines

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The state Department of Public Health has fined six nursing homes more than $1,000 each for incidents that included residents leaving the homes unattended and falls that resulted in injuries.

On July 18, Danbury Health Care Center was fined $1,300 in connection with a resident who left the home in a wheelchair and was bruised on the hand.

The resident, who had dementia, was found 25 feet away. DPH found that the facility’s assessments of the risk of the resident trying to leave the facility were completed without the oversight of a registered nurse.

The home was also cited in connection with a resident who was found outside smoking several times despite the home’s policy that active smokers are not admitted. The home’s records failed to note whether smoking assessments had been done on the resident, records show.

On Dec. 22, Fairview Healthcare Center of Greenwich was fined $1,300 in connection with a resident who was hospitalized for respiratory distress on Nov. 20 after the resident spent a night without a special airway pressure machine.

DPH found that when a nurse was told by a medical supply company that it could not deliver the machine until the next morning, the nurse should have notified a doctor. The staff received more training in the use of respiratory equipment and the need to alert a doctor if the equipment is not available, records show.

On July 22, Leeway Inc. of New Haven was fined $1,290 in connection with a resident with a history of substance abuse who went for a walk on May 3 and never returned. The resident’s doctor was not informed of the departure, and the home did not have a physician’s order to discharge the resident, DPH found.

DPH also found that in the case of nine residents, the home lacked documentation that doctors’ orders were obtained allowing residents to leave the home unsupervised or with a responsible party.

The fine was also imposed in connection with six residents who were deemed able to leave the home to smoke. DPH found that the home lacked records to show it had assessed each resident’s ability to smoke safely. In response to DPH’s findings, the home assessed every resident who smokes to see if they can do so safely.

Administrators at Danbury Health, Fairview and Leeway could not be reached for comment.

On Sept. 18, Touchpoints at Bloomfield, also known as the Wintonbury Care Center, was fined $1,230 in connection with incidents involving two residents.

On May 3, a resident alleged that a nurse’s aide hit the resident on the arm and called the resident names. The resident, who had a history of hostile behavior, said he or she pushed a wheelchair in front of the aide and the aide slapped the resident’s arm in front of the home’s administrator. The administrator saw it happen but thought the aide’s response was spontaneous when the resident tried to hit the aide. The same day, the resident had accused the aide of stealing clothes and had struck the aide on the chest, records show.

On Aug. 4, a resident was hospitalized for a seizure and DPH found that 62 doses of a drug had mistakenly not been given to the resident in July, records show. The staff was re-trained in response to the incident, records show.

Jaime Faucher, Wintonbury’s administrator, said the facility provided immediate training after the incidents.

“The health, safety and well-being of our resident community remain Wintonbury Care Center’s utmost priority,’’ she said. “The events in question were isolated in nature and are not representative of the high standards of care and service we demand from our employees.”

On Dec. 3, Bethel Health Care Center was fined $1,160 in connection with a resident who had an allergic reaction to shellfish and two residents who were injured in falls, records show.

On Aug. 8, a resident was given epinephrine for an allergic reaction and then was hospitalized after complaining of throat closure, numb lips, an itchy face and swollen tongue, records show. DPH determined that a nurse’s aide had accidentally given the resident clam chowder when the aide delivered the wrong meal tray without checking the resident’s identification.

On April 3, a resident fell and broke an arm and a leg, records show. The resident was agitated and attempted to push a nurse’s aide in a bathroom. The aide turned away to get help and when the aide turned back, the aide saw the resident hit a wall and fall. Records show the aide was re-trained on the importance of not leaving a confused, restless resident alone.

The Bethel facility was also cited in connection with a resident who fell four times between July 1 and Sept. 9. On Sept. 9, the resident was found in a bathroom, bleeding from the head and mouth and was hospitalized. A review found that the home failed to document whether the resident had been taken to the toilet before being put to bed.

Administrator Roland Butler said his center does not fully agree with DPH’s findings. He added that a plan of correction was submitted and approved by DPH and that a Jan. 6 follow-up inspection by DPH found the home in compliance with state and federal guidelines.

“Bethel Health Care provides quality care, in that over 1,500 patients were discharged in 2014 with a good or better satisfaction rate of over 95 percent,’’ he said.

On Nov. 18, The Summit at Plantsville in Southington was fined $3,000 in connection with an incident on Sept. 23 in which a nurse had a crying resident in a “headlock” to try to give the person an oral dose of anxiety medication, records show.

DPH found that the nurse, who was trying to keep the person from waking other residents, did not try to redirect the resident’s behavior or provide reassurance before trying to administer the drug, records show. The home reported that the nurse has since been retrained in patients’ rights.

“The Summit at Plantsville takes very seriously our obligation to provide quality services to our residents,” administrator Raymond Wilkens said. “As a result of this incident, we have performed an internal review of our processes and will continue to look for ways to improve  the care we provide to all our residents.”







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