Thursday, March 5, 2020

Stop Sign Abused

The federal government has started using a red stop sign on the national nursing home website, if inspectors cite abuse.  The stop sign might mean a health care community has a problem, or it might mean you should stop even reading the national nursing home website. 

Recently, a top flight community had an incident.  A nursing assistant was accused of being rough transferring a resident from one chair to another.  Even though there was a difference of opinion about whether it was rough or that the resident was struggling, making the transfer difficult, out of an abundance of caution the nursing assistant was terminated.  The community immediately reported the incident to the appropriate government agency.  The agency responded that they were not going to investigate further.  

Six months later during an inspection, the inspectors reviewed the incident and fined the community approximately $100,000 for abuse.  Their rationale was that they have a zero tolerance for abuse, so any abuse must be penalized.  Lutheran Services Carolinas and every other health care organization had a zero tolerance for abuse before the government did. The person was immediately terminated and reported.  Events will happen, but how health care providers address an event is the test.  What more can an honest provider do?  The broken federal system is running good communities and good people away; do we want to leave our elders in the hands of who’s left?