The Tuscola Health Care Center in Tuscola, Illinois is a 71 bed facility with a three star rating according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). A recent inspection by the Illinois Department of Public Health uncovered a new policy that may hide nursing home falls from the families and physicians of nursing home residents.
Typically, when a nursing home fall occurs, the nurse on duty makes a note in the patient’s medical record. The daily record contains a place for Nurse’s Notes. These notes are transcribed into the permanent record that follows the patient.
When a resident’s physician is checking up on one of her patients in a facility, she will typically review the daily reports that make up the medical record. If there are any items in the report or the Nurse’s Notes that require further explanation, the doctor will contact the facility.
During the inspection, investigators noted that the Nurse’s Notes made no mention of any of the falls that the resident had experienced. The inspectors conducted confidential interviews with several members of the Tuscola Health Care Center nursing home staff.
During those interviews, the nursing staff revealed that they were ordered not to document or describe nursing home falls in the Nurse’s Notes. Nursing home falls were only to be documented on Incident/Accident Reports. Those reports were kept in the Tuscola Health Care Center Administrator’s office.
As a nursing home fall attorney, I know that critical details of these falls is essential to any successful nursing home falls case. When a client comes to me who fears that nursing home neglect has lead to a catastrophic fall at a nursing home, one of the first actions I take is to request the resident’s medical record.
This policy seems designed to create a situation where a family members, physicians, and the legal representation of residents of Tuscola Health Care Center are not fully aware of the extent of injuries that has taken place to their patient, family member, and client.
If you have a loved one who has been seriously injured in an Illinois nursing home, it’s important to have a trained investigator with experience in nursing home falls litigation. Our Chicago nursing home lawyers have the experience and expertise to manage all aspects of your Chicago nursing home falls case.
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