For patients under nursing home care, all aspects of health, medical treatment, and wellness are important. When you place a loved one under nursing home care, you expect that simple needs, including nutrition, hydration, and comfort, will be well tended. You also expect the nursing home to manage special needs, including dietary restrictions. In a recent case, a Tallahassee nursing home has been fined $31,000 by the state for failing to monitor the blood-sugar levels of diabetic residents. This oversight put dozens of patients at substantial risk of severe injury or death. According to reports, diabetic residents were not properly monitored because the nurses didn’t have adequate testing supplies.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration imposed the order on the Heritage Healthcare Center after investigations led to an inspection of the facility. According to reports, 60 of the 67 patients who required glucose monitoring went weeks without proper testing. Investigators revealed that the necessary testing supplies were locked in a closet and that nurses did not have access to the materials to properly monitor glucose levels. Reports documented that the nursing home failed to test patients for 24 days in the month of April and at least 17 days in the month of May.
Nursing home negligence and failed care can leave patients at risk of serious injury, even death. Our Fort Lauderdale nursing home neglect attorneys are committed to bringing justice to patients and their families. Nursing home injuries, ranging from nutritional deficiencies, falls, bedsores, head injuries, improper medications, and other accidents that could leave a nursing home vulnerable for liabilities. We will take a strategic approach to investigate any allegation of nursing home abuse and take necessary action to protect your loved ones.
Failure to monitor diabetics can be deadly. According to nurses at the Tallahassee home, there was no protocol to obtain supplies in the event of an emergency and nurses who ran out of lancets or blood sugar strips were supposed to call the director at home. Another nurse reported that they were only given enough supplies for ordered blood-tests in the event of an emergency because of the “faculty’s budget.” Even the director of the nursing home admitted that there was a communication breakdown with staff and that there was no protocol to properly access supplies and monitor patients. Some nurses were told that if they did not comply with budget requirements they could lose their jobs.
The investigation showed that nurses continued to document internal failures and inadequate supply issues. They also informed management but no changes were made to meet the health and safety requirements for diabetic patients. Advocacy group leaders have spoken out against the “magnitude of neglect” which occurred on a “nuclear level.” By failing to purchase necessary strips to check blood levels, patients were put at significant risk.
Like many nursing home facilities, the outright negligence was committed to protect the bottom-line and increase profits. The for-profit health center is operated in Tallahassee and is owned by the sixth largest nursing home company. According to the Business Journal, the company had gross income up 145% since 2012. The $30,000 penalty was part of a settlement agreement with the AHCA.