Woodhaven Nursing Home, a Suffolk County-based nursing home facility, was cited for multiple deficiencies in a Department of Health Survey dated April 27, 2011. Among the violations were failure to have secure handrails in place, and failure to care for the resident in a matter maintaining dignity.
According to CFR 483.70(h)(3), a facility must ensure that corridors have firmly secured handrails on each side. In a facility in which numerous residents are fall risks, and the consequences of such falls are extremely serious, secured handrails are a necessity. The study found that three areas of Woodhaven’s first floor were not equipped with handrails. Fortunately this did not result in actual harm for any of the residents. However, the study does note that the potential for more than minimal harm was present.
Section 483.15(a) of the Code specifies that the facility must promote the care of patients in such a manner that maintains or enhances his or her individuality. In three instances of Woodhaven failing to meet this standard, specific instructions for infection control were posted outside a residents’ rooms, on some occasions left visible after the patient required such care. The information contained in the signs was plainly visible for other residents or visitors to see. When infections occur in nursing homes, as they sometimes do, it is the duty of the facility not only to treat the infection, but also to treat the resident suffering from the infection with dignity in the process. The DOH felt that Woodhaven failed to do this in these circumstances.
The full transcription of the Department of Health report can be found here.