February 16, 2001
ELMHURST NURSING HOME FINED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined Elmhurst Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for failure to properly monitor a resident's behavior or to notify his doctor after discovering he was a suicide risk. The 188-bed skilled and intermediate care facility is located at 127 W. Diversey in Elmhurst.
Responding to an incident report, Department surveyors learned facility staff were alerted by the resident's mother that he had made repeated suicide threats during telephone conversations with a friend. Two days later, the mother called again to stress that her son had a history of depression and attempted suicide.
Just over two weeks after the mother made the initial call, the resident committed suicide by hanging himself in the bathroom.
Despite the mother's warnings, the facility had not created a behavior control plan for the resident and did not implement a suicide watch or precautions. In fact, the facility did not have suicide prevention policies or procedures in place until after the resident's death.
Surveyors also learned the facility did not contact the resident's physician about the mother's calls until after the suicide. The physician said, if he had known of the suicide risk, he would have ordered an emergency psychiatric evaluation or emergency admission to the hospital.
A Department-ordered plan of correction required facility administration to ensure policies and procedures are in place to meet the needs of its residents who have a history of suicide attempts and to ensure residents' physicians are notified when there is a change in their condition.
Elmhurst Healthcare and Rehabilitation Centre has requested a hearing on the Department's action. No hearing date has been set.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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