|December 12, 2001
NORTH PLAZA FINED FOR INADEQUATE SUPERVISION
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined North Plaza Nursing Center in Decatur $5,000 (Statement of Violation) for failure to provide adequate supervision to prevent a resident from leaving the facility. The 131-bed intermediate and sheltered care facility is located at 438 W. North St.
Responding to complaints, Department surveyors learned an 89-year-old resident left the facility unnoticed and wandered into a business about 3 ½ blocks away. Employees of the business notified police and the resident was taken to a hospital by ambulance.
The resident's care plan stated he was to be monitored every 15 minutes because of his tendency to wander. According to the incident report and nursing notes, the resident was last seen at 4:45 p.m. and discovered missing at 5 p.m. However, the Department's investigation discovered the resident had been gone from the facility for more than an hour before staff realized he was missing.
While it is not known how the resident managed to leave, an investigation by the facility found a door alarm had been deactivated that afternoon and the door propped open to assist a resident moving out of the facility. The resident who wandered away had followed an employee through the door once and had to be returned to the facility.
A Department-ordered plan of correction required the facility to properly supervise residents, to ensure all exterior doors are equipped with functional alarms, and to provide direct and continuous supervision of doors if alarm systems have been deactivated.
North Plaza Nursing Center 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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