|January 15, 2004
DEWITT COUNTY NURSING HOME FINED
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined DeWitt County Nursing Home $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for failing to thoroughly investigate allegations of neglect; verbal, mental and physical abuse; and involuntary seclusion. In addition, the facility was disciplined for lacking an environment in which staff and residents can report allegations without fear of retribution. The 85-bed intermediate and sheltered care facility is located at 259 State Highway 10 in Clinton.
As part of an annual inspection and complaint investigation, Department surveyors learned staff witnessed a nurse threatening to withhold medication from two residents if they did not alter their behaviors, but did not immediately report the allegations. Staff also failed to report two instances in which the same employee used a recliner to block two residents in a sitting room for a couple of hours.
The same nurse did not properly assess a resident after a fall that resulted in a broken hip or offer pain medication and medical treatment. It was three hours before the nurse called the resident's physician.
Staff told investigators these allegations were not reported because the employee threatened to get them fired and, once the facility administration was informed, a thorough investigation was not conducted.
The director of nursing recommended that the employee be fired, but the administrator allowed her to continue providing direct patient care for two weeks. The facility administrator also impeded the Department's investigation by repeatedly providing false statements.
A Department-ordered plan of correction required the facility to review policies and procedures related to abuse and neglect and the assessment of residents after an incident; to ensure that staff are aware of their specific job duties; to train staff on how to recognize signs and symptoms of significant changes in condition and appropriate interventions; and to conduct investigations of all allegations of abuse or neglect.
DeWitt County Nursing Home has requested a hearing on the Department's action. No hearing date has been scheduled.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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