|August 5, 2004|
LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES IN BUREAU
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. The Illinois Department of Public Health has taken disciplinary action against two northwestern Illinois long-term care facilities:
Walnut Manor was fined $5,000 (Statement of Violation) for failing to monitor all exit doors, which permitted a resident with Alzheimer's disease to leave the facility unnoticed. Staff later found the resident about 1.5 miles from the facility and returned her unharmed.
The resident was wearing an electronic monitoring device, but staff did not hear an alarm sound. The alarm system was designed to emit a sound when an exit door was opened, but to shut off when the door closed. A visitor told a nurse she had seen the resident in the west hall shortly before hearing a faint buzzing noise. Following the incident, the facility changed the door alarms system to require a code to turn off the alarm.
Forest Hill was fined $10,000 (Statement of Violation) for failing to take steps to prevent a resident with a history of attempting to leave the facility from wandering away unnoticed. The resident was found barefoot in the facility's snow-covered parking lot in 15 degree Fahrenheit temperatures wearing only a gown and a blanket. The resident was admitted to the hospital with frostbite.
After the incident, the resident was fitted with an electronic monitoring device and the facility's alarm policy was changed, but the resident still was able to leave the facility unnoticed a couple weeks later.
Both facilities requested a hearing on the Department's actions. No hearing dates have been set.
of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
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