We are headed to a new year, and Schmidt Kramer lawyers are hearing more and more from the families of residents in nursing homes who believe their loved ones were neglected or mistreated. For that reason, I thought it would be worthwhile to drop back and consider some of the problems that happened in a medical or nursing home setting.
An organization called the National Quality Forum set certain problems as ones which really should never happen, and you will hear them referred to as never events. An example in the hospital setting is that a sponge or an instrument should never be left in a patient after surgery. In a nursing home setting, where health care is part of the service provided by the home, the following are problems which should never happen:
- Patient death or serious injury associated with patient elopement
- Patient death or serious injury associated with a medication error (e.g., errors involving the wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong patient, wrong time, wrong rate, wrong preparation, or wrong route of administration
- Patient death or serious injury associated with a fall while being cared for in a healthcare setting
- Any Stage 3, Stage 4, and unstageable pressure ulcers acquired after admission/presentation to a healthcare setting
- (NEW) Patient death or serious injury resulting from failure to follow up or communicate laboratory, pathology, or radiology test results
- Patient death or serious injury associated with the use of physical restraints or bed rails while being cared for in a healthcare setting
- Sexual abuse/assault on a patient or staff member within or on the grounds of a healthcare setting
- Death or serious injury of a patient or staff member resulting from a physical assault (i.e., battery) that occurs within or on the grounds of a healthcare setting
If one of your loved ones has recently endured any of these problems, one of the nursing home attorneys at Schmidt Kramer may be able to help you.
Joe Chapman, Esquire
November 26, 2012