I Said... 'huh?' - page 9
Imagine that you're the NightShift Supervisor and have been for quite awhile with all linens, medical supplies, residents rooms, exit doors,and entry door keys for access, locking or security when... Read More
May 21, '02Mr.Craig informs me I've NO idea or suggestion for improving a situation I/we feel needs to be addressed. 'HUH?' Say What?
I would think that it's "A GIVEN"; "Apparent", "Evident", "Obvious", and clearly "Visible". In my "flair for writing", 'money' wasn't the issue.
What I want for Caregivers is simple;
Description of my ideal company:
Whether public, privately owned and operated:
a.) Recognized for its Center(s) of Excellence in Healthcare and/or
b.) Respects the dignity of each client/patient/resident, physician,
volunteer, visitor and employee.
c. )Given the recognition and support from upper management to do the job.Last edit by betts on May 21, '02
May 21, '02My God, what a travesty....I worked at a LTC facility as an ADON for only three weeks, then got the hell out. My conscience would not allow me to be a part of an institution which provided substandard care. Only last night on the evening news, it was reported that another resident had died as a result of substandard care at another LTC facility in the area......
May 21, '02Maybe this should be happening more often to administrators of substandard nursing homes. A resident had to die a horrible death for anything to be done.
Charges urged in Robinson nursing
Friday, May 17, 2002
By Cindi Lash and Gary Rotstein, Post-Gazette Staff
The Allegheny County coroner has recommended that
the operator of a Robinson nursing home be prosecuted
in the death of an elderly resident who was locked
outside the home on a cold night.
Dr. Cyril H. Wecht
yesterday called on District
Attorney Stephen A.
Zappala Jr. to prosecute
Atrium I Nursing and
administrator Martha F.
Bell for "gross, reckless
and negligent misconduct"
leading to the death of
resident Mabel Taylor on
Wecht, who believes the
misconduct sufficient for a
charge of involuntary
Zappala would make the
Calling their conduct "truly reprehensible," Wecht also
recommended that Bell and other Atrium employees be
prosecuted for criminal neglect of Taylor as well as
"most of the other" residents of the 170-bed facility on
Campbells Run Road. Under Pennsylvania law, that
offense can range from a misdemeanor to first-degree
felony, depending on the degree of injury.
Wecht also said he believed that Bell, registered nurse
Kathryn Galati and possibly other employees committed
perjury and conspired to obstruct justice during the
investigation and inquest into Taylor's death. Bell and
Atrium attorney Lawrence Zurawsky declined comment
yesterday; Galati could not be reached.
Wecht said he would forward his findings to Zappala,
Attorney General Mike Fisher and state and federal
agencies that regulate and allocate funding to Atrium.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Merrick said Zappala
would review Wecht's recommendations before deciding
whether charges would be filed.
"What ensued [at Atrium] is intolerable," said Wecht.
"I'm not out to hang anyone here. [Bell and other
employees'] actions and testimony under oath will
speak for itself."
Taylor, 88, who had Alzheimer's disease, died of heart
disease aggravated by cold after she was locked
outdoors in a fenced courtyard on a 40-degree night.
Her daughter, Jane Baczewski of Hopewell, said Galati
later telephoned and told her that Taylor had died
"peacefully in bed."
But Baczewksi learned from employee Rose Beasley
that Taylor died outdoors and that employees carried
her cold body back to bed, redressed her and turned up
the heat to make it appear as though she'd died in her
sleep. Police and the coroner were called and an inquest
The inquest later expanded to include testimony from
current and former employees of Atrium and relatives of
residents who were critical of the facility's care,
cleanliness and staffing.
A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review of Atrium in February
also detailed criticisms by family members and
ex-employees as well as penalties imposed by state
and federal regulators.
Baczewski said she was "thrilled" with Wecht's
recommendations and believed they would spur changes
"The first step to change is seeing how bad the picture
is," she said. "Nobody had believed it up to that point,
but now they do. It has all come out -- how they denied
my mother and other people even the most basic care --
and that is what needed to happen to make things
Wecht's recommendations mirror those of attorney
Robert L. Garber, who presided over the four-day
inquest, then compiled a scathing report criticizing
Atrium's management. In his report to Wecht, Garber
referred to Atrium as an "operational nightmare" and
warned that its continued operation "poses serious risks
of bodily harm or injury and death to its residents."
"One of the seven wonders of the world, if not the
eighth, is why this place is able to be in existence,"
Garber said yesterday. If Atrium is permitted to
continue operating, he said, its management and
operations "should be cleaned up."
Wecht stopped short of calling for the state Health
Department to revoke Atrium's license. But he, too, said
its managers must be forced to "shape up" by adhering
to state and federal standards and by providing proper
care to residents.
The Health Department has imposed numerous
penalties upon Atrium since its 1995 opening, but
stopped short of its most extreme steps, which are
closing a facility or forcing it to accept a temporary
manager to correct problems.
The state has not shut down a nursing home since
1998. For problem homes, the Health Department
instead uses provisional licenses, fines and temporary
bans on admission to encourage compliance.
"This is where people live, and the Health Department
is not in business to put homes out of business," said
Susan Getgen, director of the department's division of
The latest Health Department inspection of Atrium on
March 28 found widespread problems, resulting in 22
citations for deficiencies and a fine of about $18,750.
Among the problems cited were failure to assess and
care for residents properly, inadequate quality
assurance and staff supervision by managers,
unsanitary food and kitchen conditions, and failure of
staff to pay attention to door alarms.
Atrium was also assessed its second consecutive
provisional license, a status that is supposed to bring
increased scrutiny by inspectors. The facility was on a
previous provisional license and was fined $5,550 for
the circumstances surrounding Taylor's death.
Atrium is in the process of changing its name to the
Ronald Reagan Atrium I Nursing, Research and
Rehabilitation Center through a link with the Ronald
Reagan Legacy Project. A spokesman for the
Washington, D.C.-based Legacy Project, which seeks to
memorialize the former president, said the name
change was to be final next week.
May 21, '02Conscience and Courage
A message to employees of nursing home and assisted living facilities:
If you are an employee of conscience, and, as a service to the community, you wish to inform the public of practices or policies in any nursing home or assisted living facility which you believe are harmful or inhumane to residents, please call or email us to contribute this information.
If you feel that the public could better protect themselves if they knew what you know, then please, as a public service, donate that information to the Citizens' Committee.
Your information, combined with information from other people with similar experiences, will become a resource which will allow the public to make better and safer choices.
If you are a person of conscience and courage, please contact:
Judith Allison (Email) firstname.lastname@example.org
Citizens' Committee to Protect the Elderly
Absolute confidentiality is assured.
May 21, '02Here is a news article involving the death of that resident:
METRO SATURDAY * May 18, 2002 (Atlanta Journal-Constitution):
In 2 years, complaints about home came to 27
Death led to probe of Riverdale facility
Peter Scott - Staff
Saturday, May 18, 2002
Over the past two years, more than two dozen complaints have been filed against SunBridge Care & Rehabilitation for Riverdale, now under state investigation.
The death of Georgia Gilbreath and complaints from her family of abuse and neglect apparently have sparked a probe by the state Health Care Fraud Control task force of the Clayton County facility, which provides long-term care for the elderly.
Gilbreath, 88, died April 25 at a hospice facility following a stay at Southern Regional Medical Center. The cause of death has not been released, but doctors at SRMC said she was severely malnourished when she was brought to the hospital, according to the police.
This week, members of the task force, which includes the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, executed a search warrant and seized files at SunBridge.
"There have been complaints filed about the SunBridge facility in Riverdale and at other SunBridge locations throughout the state," said David Dunbar, director of the Long Term Care section of the Georgia Department of Human Resources. He said the Riverdale facility also has been fined for noncompliance in some cases.
Since January 2000, 27 complaints about the facility have been filed, according to documents at the Long Term Care section. The complaints ranged from cold food and ant-infested rooms to bedsores and falls leading to injuries, according to state reports.
"Our agency has been involved in the investigation of the [current] complaint and we have worked cooperatively with other agencies involved. While law enforcement agencies will look at possible criminal actions, our focus is looking at whether [SunBridge] is in compliance in providing quality care," Dunbar said.
The state has 370 nursing homes, occupied by some 40,000 patients, Dunbar said, and his office averages about four complaints per home each year.
SunBridge representatives could not be reached for comment Friday but have said previously they are cooperating with investigators.
Dunbar said his office maintains a survey of nursing homes in the state that is available to the public. To report complaints to the state, call 404-657-5726 or 404-657-5728.
A federal Web site listing all nursing homes in the country, www.medicare.gov/nhcompare/home.asp, includes the number of beds at nursing homes, staff size and the most recent government survey of the home. It also includes a guide to choosing a nursing home that lists the characteristics of the residents in the home and staffing, Dunbar said.
Staff writer Lateef Mungin contributed to this article.
May 21, '02Dear Ms. Long:
Thank you very much for sharing the information regarding the obstacles your friend and fellow-professional encountered in trying to responsibly deliver care to her patients. I had just moments before an e-mail from a nurse who described what appeared to be the same disturbing scenario. I have responded to her e-mail and suggested that, if she is willing, she contact us, and, as she is able, share some additional specifics so that our program can try to address the concerns, or at least get them to the agency best positioned to address them. I would certainly invite you to do the same.
The management responses that have been described certainly do not seem to represent policies that serve the best interests of residents, to say the very least. With some additional detail (such as the name/location of the facility in question), it may be possible for the local ombudsman to effectively intervene to resolve some of the problems.
We appreciate the fact that people like you and your colleague are willing to speak out when you see residents placed at risk by facility practices or policies. Thank you for contacting the Ombudsman Program, and please feel free to contact me directly at (804) 644-2923 to discuss the concerns or to share additional information that may aid investigation.
Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
530 E. Main Street, Suite 800
Richmond, VA 23219
From: zuma long [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, May 18, 2002 4:21 PM
Subject: abuse of the system that can kill
Suppose your mother is in a nursing home. It's late at night. Suddenly, she can't breathe; she's fighting for air. Look at your watch now and time your response because your mother literally has less than 10 minutes to live.
There's a nurse on duty who knows how to help Mother breathe, BUT the supplies are LOCKED in a room where the nurse cannot get them.
The nurse needs to act FAST. What should she do?
She calls the Keeper of the Keys at home. No answer.
Call 9-1-1? Response time: 10-15 minutes. Mother won't last.
Break open the door to the supplies? Response Time: 3 minutes.
Which would you choose? Which gets the faster, more reliable result? How would YOU have saved Mother's life?
OK. Time's up.
In this case, Mother wins because the nurse broke open the supply room door and got the supplies that kept Mother alive.
OK, next question:
What should the headline to this story read?
(A) "NURSE SAVES MOTHER; GETS BONUS FOR JOB DONE WELL; NURSING HOME REALIZES MISTAKE, LEAVES KEYS IN BUILDING FOR NIGHT SHIFT"?
(B)"NURSE SAVES MOTHER; GETS FIRED FOR BREAKING INTO SUPPLY ROOM?"
(B) That's right, B is correct.
Yes, you read it right: The nursing home that locked the supply room refused to give the keys to the nurse who could use them to save lives, then fired the caregiver who actually did save someone's life.
Why was the nurse fired?
Ans: She was "not a team player." Because she made the nursing home "look bad" with her complaint to the State.
Why wasn't the nursing home fined by the State?
Ans: Because all the witnesses were so horrified that they quit and were never questioned by the State investigators. Because the nursing home covered up. A lot.
Why wasn't the patient's family notified of this event?
Ans: Silly, it's unethical to tell the family; all nurses know that. It's part of having a nursing license.
OK. Last question, then you can all go home and get a good night's rest:
When's the last time you visited your loved one in that nursing home? In the middle of the night?
This incident actually happened to a friend of mine. I have been in nursing for over 15 years and I wish I could say I am speechless, but I can't. I have seen so many practices that should not have been--they are not by NURSES who care about their patients--they are by CORPORATE America who cares nothing for you or your loved ones health or safety.
Please look into this incident in Virginia.
Sincerely Cheryl Long BS RN
Betts just received this--have you written this Joani Latimer?? She sounds like she will at least investigate your situation. I do not know the name of facility--but I posted this in case you want to try her.
May 21, '02The link below is the new one for Nursing Home Comparisons in the Country.
May 21, '02They haven't posted as yet for the State Investigation conducted from May6th-9th.............
May 23, '02I thought that the role of government agencies was to protect its citizens from unscrupulous providers. Well, that is a pathetic joke! Even an official of my state government admitted that "more should have been done", to have prevented the death of that LTC resident here in Atlanta, who perished as a result of malnutrition. Well, as they say: "Talk is Cheap", and it is TOO late for that woman and her family...who I personally knew as her Case Manager, before she was transferred to this facility...which turned out to be a death sentence.....
May 23, '02UPDATE:
I've faxed 18pages to the following Government Department: Health,Education,Labor Committee&Subcommittee in DC...................awaiting their reply and will post same,whether negative or positive.
May 24, '02zumalong,
Sent email to MS Latimer; will post her response ASAP when I receive same; and Thank You Cheryl!!!
May 25, '02Email notice:
Subj: Re: REPLIES?
Date: 5/25/2002 7:29:43 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Sent from the Internet (Details)
This is Jennifer from the Citizens' Committee to Protect the Elderly.
You sent several emails for Judith on May 22...she has not received them
yet, as our email system has been having some difficulties. We are hoping
that the system will be resolved ASAP this coming week.
I wanted to let you know your emails have been received!! AND will be given
to Judith on TUESDAY...
I apologize for the delays.
We are working as quickly as possible to correct the problem in the
communication system! If Judith had received your emails, she would have
responded immediately--as is usual fashion.
Thank you very much for sending the information that you have sent.
It is appreciated, and unfortunately, familiar.