Recent allegations have emerged concerning the quality of care being provided at Green Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center-a nursing home facility located in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee. According to one source, the facility experienced a gastrointestinal viral outbreak on one of their floors during March of this year. Apparently, as a result of the outbreak, nearly twenty patients contracted the illness, suffering from symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever, among others. One patient who contracted the virus became septic and died shortly thereafter due to the sepsis and related respiratory failure. Allegedly, the outbreak was caused by substandard sanitation and hygiene conditions at the facility. Furthermore, the facility was seemingly badly understaffed.
Unfortunately, this incident is not the first example of inferior care provided by the Green Hills Health and Rehab staff. According to a survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services, Green Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center received a two out of five overall rating on an inspection conducted on June 5, 2013. This score means that the facility is rated below average overall based on health inspections, nursing home staffing and quality measures. The inspection revealed that the facility was in violation of a number of the federal rules governing nursing homes.
The violations discovered at Green Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center by the CMS inspection included the following breaches: (1) failure to maintain visual privacy for residents, (2) failure to maintain the confidentiality of residents’ medical records, (3) failure to promote an environment that enhanced the residents’ dignity, (4) failure to ensure that residents’ maintain necessary personal hygiene, (5) failure to revise care plans for residents, (6) failure to accurately identify pressure ulcers and follow physician orders for treatment of pressure ulcers, (7) failure to ensure the facility is free from medication error rates of five percent or greater, (8) failure to ensure food was prepared, stored or served under sanitary conditions, (9) failure to ensure medications are stored in a secure manner, and (10) failure to ensure employees were free from communicable diseases. Clearly this facility has a history of failing to properly adhere to the rules and regulations required of them by the federal government.
Each of the violations described above is a form of nursing home abuse. Residents at long term care facilities and nursing homes are guaranteed certain rights. Specifically, residents have the “right to be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion.” The staff is supposed to ensure that residents are properly cared for by providing adequate amounts of food and water, ensuring proper hygiene, and ensuring that residents remain free from falls, among many other things. The failure to perform these simple acts amounts to neglect, the most common form of nursing home abuse.
The foregoing illustrates just how dangerous nursing home abuse and neglect can be. The failure to provide vulnerable, sick, elderly residents with the necessary care and treatment they require can quickly lead to grave situations. Even something as simple as failing to periodically turn residents in their beds, or-as was likely the case at Green Hill this past March-failing to ensure that staff members are healthy can result in serious injury or even death. Whatever the form, nursing home abuse/neglect is inexcusable. If you or a loved one has been injured or harmed during a stay at Green Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center or another nursing home facility, you should contact an attorney today to discuss your legal options. Call The Higgins Firm for a free consultation. Our Nursing Home Litigation Attorneys are ready to speak with you.