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Nursing Homes Abuse Blog By Jonathan Rosenfeld

Nursing Home Spotlight: Emeritus at Prospect Heights; Prospect Heights, IL

Posted in Abuse In Chicago Nursing Homes & Other Communities Within Illinois, Elopement & Wandering


                                                
On June 9, 2011, the Illinois Department of Health issued a “Type A” violation and $25,000 fine against the Emeritus at Prospect Heights Nursing Home, in Prospect Heights, Illinois. The sanctions are in response to an incident that occurred on February 22, where a male resident wandered out of the home and was struck and killed by an SUV.  

According to a survey from April 14, multiple eyewitnesses saw the incident occur. Those from outside the nursing home said the man spent a significant amount of time wandering in the street before he was hit. Despite having an “alert departure” bracelet on his right ankle, no one from the nursing home staff noticed his leaving. The nurse that had placed the anklet on him failed to notify the attending physician about the bracelet, as required by law.

Along with this disturbing and unacceptable incident, Emeritus was also found to have several other dangerous deficiencies. Recent surveys discovered that Emeritus rarely checks its “crash carts,” or emergency stand-alone medical stations.

“Crash carts” are an essential component of any nursing home, since they provide emergency medical equipment in the case of a heart attack, or other life-threatening situation. By law, they should be checked and monitored every day. In April, however, Emeritus checked the contests of its crash carts on only seven days.

Surveyors also found that nurses frequently didn’t follow proper hand-washing procedures, particularly after handling garbage, performing genital washing, and touching patients’ shoes.

For such a small (30 bed) facility, that prides itself on seniors’ independent living, I was frankly quite surprised to see so many serious violations. However, I shouldn’t be too shocked, given that there have been several instances in the past years of Emeritus homes not being up to standards.

If you or your loved one was abused or mistreated at an Emeritus home, we would honor the opportunity to speak with you regarding your legal rights.

Resources:

Admissions Suspended at an Emeritus Assisted Living Facility Following the Discovery of Medication Errors, Bed Sores, and Falsified Medical Records

Elderly Man Hit, Killed by SUV Outside Nursing Home Chicago Tribune February 23, 2011

  • http://emeritus.com Emeritus Senior Living

    Hello Jonathan – We’re writing to clarify some of the details about this incident and inspection history of this community.
    This resident involved in the February incident had lived in residential care at the community for seven years, and was extremely well-known and treasured by the staff. He lived in his own apartment, was active and alert, and loved going for walks on his own, which he often did. He chose to live at Emeritus at Prospect Heights because it enables seniors to live as independently and comfortably as possible, with the ability to make his own choices as to how to live his day.
    The staff was very familiar with his need for walks, and his regular habit of taking them. Because he was alert, oriented and had never experienced trouble on previous walks, there was no reason for the staff to prevent him from walking on that evening.
    In response to your statements about the health department inspections at the community, the Illinois Health Department’s June 2011 survey findings that you referred to regarding the frequency of crash cart checks and the issues with hand-washing procedures, have long since been addressed and cleared. Emeritus takes these inspections very seriously and has rigorous quality assurance systems in place to prevent and respond to any issues immediately.
    In fact, we are proud that Emeritus at Prospect Heights was recently awarded a 4-Star Rating for this community’s skilled nursing services by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In fact, this report shows that Prospect Heights actually ranks higher than the local and national averages for several quality markers. CMS maintains a Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers compare skilled nursing facilities. This rating system is based on health inspections, staffing, and quality measures. You can find this information by going to: http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare.

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