Witchunt or legitimate inquiry: 19 LA Health Care Facilities Probed re Katrina Deaths

  1. found at comcast.net

    19 health care facilities probed in la.

    by associated press
    washington post
    posted 10/03/05
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...100301471.html

    new orleans - a total of six hospitals and 13 nursing homes in louisiana are under investigation in the deaths of dozens of elderly patients following hurricane katrina, state attorney general charles foti said monday.

    at issue is whether the facilities mishandled evacuations of patients, abandoned them during the devastating storm or euthanized patients to spare them pain when rescuers didn't arrive for days.

    foti told a legislative committee hearing that the investigation includes charity hospital, new orleans' major public hospital.

    at least 140 elderly patients in nursing homes and hospitals died in the storm and its aftermath; dozens more who were living independently may have perished...


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    la times, sept 23rd, 2005:

    u.s. joins probe of nursing home deaths

    the department of health and human services says it will conduct a broad review.
    by ricardo alonso-zaldivar, times staff writer

    washington-federal investigators have joined a louisiana inquiry into nursing home deaths during hurricane katrina, as the government begins considering stronger requirements to protect patients in healthcare facilities during natural disasters.

    industry officials say the deaths were tragic exceptions in chaotic circumstances under which most facilities carried out their duties, some of them heroically.

    the inspector general's office in the department of health and human services said it was assisting the investigation of 34 deaths at st. rita's nursing home in st. bernard parish. state authorities have charged the owners of the home with 34 counts of negligent homicide for allegedly ignoring requests to evacuate.

    "this office is tremendously concerned about the possible abuse and neglect of hospital patients and nursing home residents," inspector general daniel r. levinson wrote to sen. charles e. grassley (r-iowa) in a letter released thursday. grassley has also asked for a justice department investigation.

    separately, officials of health and human services-which, through medicare and medicaid, is the nation's largest payer for hospital and nursing home care-said they would consider a broad range of actions to prevent such deaths in the future.

    "i think only rip van winkle would be able to ignore the wake-up call that hurricane katrina offers with regard to emergency preparedness," thomas hamilton, director of the department's office that sets standards for healthcare facilities, said in an interview.

    "it is worth looking at the current requirements and asking ourselves, in light of the experience with hurricane katrina, with an entire healthcare system going down: are there better protections that could be put in place for that kind of phenomenon?"...
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 4, '05
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   NRSKarenRN
    My homecare agency's VP Patient services and QI Director just came back from JCAHO prep conference re 2006 standards. JCAHO shared they and LA state investigators coming down hard on facilities and homecare agencies as disaster planning NOT EFFECTIVE. "Patent's left home without meds and admission packets, something they shouldn't have done".

    Disaster plan needs to adress what we do about "civil unrest and mandatory evacuation". Now we are being told that the homecare agency is responsible for ensuring our homecare clients are evacuated!! I can see need for level one: bedbound or vent dependent patients being called to help make arrangements for transfering client's care.

    Give us a break! I'm lucky if I can find the admission packet I left in plain view on table next to favorite chair pt sits in on repeat visit next day for a new insulin dependent diabetic. TV remote much higher priority in most homecare persons mind. What about individuals and caregivers PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY here in time of a disaster?

    What a documentation nightmare this must be for agencies/facilites in Louisiana!
  4. by   directcare4me
    This seems extreme to me too. Home health should not be responsible for anyone other than, as you said, vent dependent or bedridden patients that they know about, and then, only if no family is around. Personal accountability has gone out the window these days. We have become a nation of enablers, an enabling nation, and it does not help anyone. Authorities need to focus on helping people figure out how to help themselves, not do everything for them.
  5. by   NRSKarenRN

    lack of plan hurt katrina-hit states' response
    by dara kam, alan gomez

    palm beach post staff writers

    saturday, september 10, 2005

    tallahassee-one thing florida knows is hurricanes.
    florida emergency planners criticized and even rebuked their counterparts -- or what passes for emergency planners -- in those states for their handling of hurricane katrina. gov. jeb bush, the head of florida ahca and the head of florida wildlife (which is responsible for all search and rescue) all said they made offers of aid to mississippi and louisiana the day before katrina hit but were rebuffed. after the storm, they said they've had to not only help provide people to those states but also have had to develop search and rescue plans for them. "they were completely unprepared -- as bad off as we were before andrew," one florida official said...


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    found at msnbc:

    across country, leaders dust off disaster plans
    by kent bernhard jr.
    bizjournals.com
    updated: 1:41 p.m. et sept. 29, 2005

    across country, leaders dust off disaster plans. katrina, rita spur others to ask: what if the worst happened here?
  6. by   NRSKarenRN
    as part of my agency's safety+ disaster committee will include this info from city of philadelphia:

    emergency prepardness and response plan

    [font=verdana,tahoma,arial,helvetica][color=#3399ff]special help
    [font=verdana,tahoma,arial,helvetica]if you are bedridden, wheelchair bound, handicapped, or medically unable to evacuate and you are without the assistance or help needed to evacuate, please call 911 and request assistance for evacuation during an emergency. please be ready to furnish the information to help us provide the necessary assistance to safety. (nature of medical or mobility problem).

    prudently in the past, as visiting nurse i personally notified local fire department of bedbound client, anyone oxygen dependent or on a ventilator. part of home health aide supervision visit was discuss with aide and caregiver how to evacuate patient from home using drawsheet in case of fire--aide received 1 hour ce.

    looks like i need to recommend that this info now be documented in each clients chart by adding section on oasis assessment form and subsequent visits, recert.
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Oct 4, '05
  7. by   grannynurse FNP student
    Quote from nrskarenrn
    as part of my agency's safety+ disaster committee will include this info from city of philadelphia:

    emergency prepardness and response plan

    [font=verdana,tahoma,arial,helvetica][color=#3399ff]special help
    [font=verdana,tahoma,arial,helvetica]if you are bedridden, wheelchair bound, handicapped, or medically unable to evacuate and you are without the assistance or help needed to evacuate, please call 911 and request assistance for evacuation during an emergency. please be ready to furnish the information to help us provide the necessary assistance to safety. (nature of medical or mobility problem).

    prudently in the past, as visiting nurse i personally notified local fire department of bedbound client, anyone oxygen dependent or on a ventilator. part of home health aide supervision visit was discuss with aide and caregiver how to evacuate patient from home using drawsheet in case of fire--aide received 1 hour ce.

    looks like i need to recommend that this info now be documented in each clients chart by adding section on oasis assessment form and subsequent visits, recert.

    here in charlotte county, there is a list of all special needs individuals who need to be evacuated to a special needs shelter. transportation is provided by the county. however, even with a mandatory evacuation order, no one can be forced to evacuate.

    grannynurse
  8. by   oramar
    Please, could you tell me what kind of things would be in an admission packet? Sorry if it is dumb question.

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