|February 3, 2004
CHICAGO NURSING HOME FINED AFTER RESIDENT INJURED
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The Illinois Department of Public Health has fined Washington Heights Nursing Home $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for failure to provide adequate supervision to prevent injury to a resident. The 228-bed skilled care facility is located at 1010 W. 95th St. in Chicago.
Responding to complaints, Department surveyors learned a resident sustained scrapes, bruises and severe swelling to her face and scalp after falling down a flight of stairs while in a wheelchair.
Despite obvious signs of trauma, staff put the resident in the wheelchair and carried her back to her room without stabilizing or assessing for injuries.
Staff did not hear an alarm sound in the stairwell and the door alarm panel at the nurse's station was turned off at the time off the incident. During the Department's investigation, a surveyor found the door alarm working, but the sound was almost inaudible.
Interviews with employees revealed there was insufficient staff supervising the area at the time of the incident. One employee stated she was not supervising the area because she thought another employee, who was at dinner, was doing it. In fact, three of the four nurse aides on the floor went to dinner at approximately the same time. Another nurse, who was working on the floor because an employee had called in, was summoned to work on a different floor and left without notifying the nurse in charge.
The Department-ordered plan of correction required the facility to take the necessary precautions to ensure the residents' environment is free of accident hazards; to educate all staff in their role of providing care to and monitoring of residents; and to document any change in a resident's behavior.
Washington Heights 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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