|October 31, 2001
JOLIET NURSING HOME DISCIPLINED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined Salem Village Nursing and Rehab $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for failure to take the necessary precautions to prevent a resident from leaving the facility unsupervised. The 272-bed skilled, intermediate and sheltered care facility is located at 1314 Rowell Ave. in Joliet.
Responding to complaints, Department investigators learned facility administration failed to notify the Department in January when a resident wandered away from the facility and was found standing with the help of crutches across the street from the center. At the time, the temperature was less than 20 degrees. The resident, who was not wearing a coat, was taken to the hospital emergency department for treatment of pneumonia.
In an interview, the resident's physician told surveyors the man should not have been outside unsupervised or unprotected in the cold weather because it was "unsafe for the physical health of the resident." The resident, who had terminal cancer, expired 16 days later from complications due to his cancer.
A staff member told surveyors the resident was last seen in his room at 4 a.m. Around the same time, one of the two employees staffing the first floor unit where the resident lived took a 30-minute break and left the other staffer to care for 34 residents. An hour after the resident was last observed, staff could not locate him inside the facility and a search outside was begun. The resident was found across the street around 5:15 a.m. and sent to the hospital for treatment. Surveyors were unable to determine how long the resident was outside.
Through staff interviews, surveyors learned that the front door was not equipped with an alarm system or continually monitored and that the southwest exit door alarm was either not working or had been deactivated at the time of the resident's elopement.
A Department-ordered plan of correction required the facility to ensure all resident-accessible exterior doors are equipped with functional alarms or are monitored by constant visual supervision.
Salem Village Nursing and Rehab 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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