This article from Hutchinson News Online, details the high rate of nursing home staff turnover at most facilities. Most nursing homes have annual staff turnover rates that exceed 100%. The lack of continuity of care is problematic for both the nursing home and residents. For the nursing home it means an exertion of time and money to train and attract new employees. For nursing home residents, high staff likely has a direct impact on the quality of their care. According to a 2006 University of Kansas study on nursing homes, employee turnover is “the most important factor in predicting nursing home deficiency scores.”
In our nursing home liability practice, it is common to see cases involving medication errors, dietary errors and general medical mistakes occurring at a disproportionate rate among new nursing home staff. In a pending matter, a CNA at a Chicago Nursing Home mistakenly served a resident a steak dinner when the resident was on a strict ‘soft foods’ diet. The resident chocked on the steak and suffered a brain injury from lack of oxygen. Barely 24-hours on the job, the nurse was unaware of the resident’s dietary restrictions.