|April 24, 2003
TWO COOK COUNTY NURSING HOMES FINED
SPRINGFIELD, IL The Illinois Department of Public Health has disciplined two Cook County nursing homes for violating the state Nursing Home Care Act:
Emerald Park Health Care Center was fined $5,000, (Statement of Violation), for failure to protect a resident from physical and mental abuse.
Responding to a complaint, Department surveyors learned a resident was interrogated by a facility security guard, who refused to let the resident leave the room when he asked to do so.
The security guard took the resident into a room to question him about an earlier incident involving other residents. When the resident became agitated and tried to leave the room, the security guard reportedly prevented him from doing so, eventually pushing the resident and putting him in a police hold.
The resident screamed for a nurse, who came and had him escorted back to his room, where he was given medication to help him calm down.
The resident told surveyors that he had been interrogated and harassed by this security guard on a few other occasions and that he had reported these instances to management. The facility found the resident's allegation regarding this incident invalid despite several staff members telling surveyors that the security guard overstepped his boundaries. Other residents told surveyors that the security guard was "bossy" and "rough," and they were afraid of him.
The Waterford Nursing and Rehab was fined $5,000, (Statement of Violation), for failure to properly supervise a resident to prevent him from leaving the facility undetected.
As part of an incident investigation, surveyors learned a resident, who had been identified as an elopement risk and was in need of constant monitoring, sustained cuts and bruises after leaving the facility unnoticed. He was found by a neighbor who returned him to the facility.
The resident lived on a locked unit, which required a code to enter the elevator but would allow someone to exit without a code. A resident could enter the elevator when it stopped to let someone off and then travel to an unlocked floor.
The facility's front door did not have an alarm and was to be monitored after 5:30 p.m. On the night of the incident, there was only one nurse to cover the first floor and the locked unit. Although the facility was aware of the resident's monitoring needs, he was left on the locked unit without a nurse.
Emerald Park Health Care Center and The Waterford Nursing and Rehab have requested hearings on the Department's actions. No hearing dates have been scheduled.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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