January 20, 2000
HOMEWOOD NURSING HOME FINED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined Mercy Health Care Rehabilitation Center $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for failure to provide adequate supervision to prevent a resident elopement. The 259-bed skilled care facility is located at 19000 Halsted St. in Homewood.
A Department investigation found that an 84-year-old resident left the facility unnoticed and was found by police 1½ miles away. He had climbed over a fence and crossed a heavily traveled street with no sidewalk. The resident, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease and confusion, had been identified as a elopement risk. On the day of this incident, he had made three previous attempts to leave the facility. He is believed to have left through an exit door with a malfunctioning alarm. He was returned to the facility with minor scratches and a puncture wound to his left hand.
The facility implemented a plan of correction that included replacement of outside alarms and the addition of alarms that connect to fire and emergency circuits. To be added to the outside doors is a secondary alarm that will sound at nurses' stations for those units that have residents at risk of wandering.
Mercy Health Care Rehabilitation Center has requested a hearing on the Department's action. A hearing date has not been scheduled.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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