Victoria Home, a nursing home in Ossining, New York, was the focus of a June Department of Health deficiency report, which details that the facility did not ensure that services provided must meet professional standards of care. The right to this level of service is provided in CFR 42 Section 483.20(k)(3)(i).
The incident illustrated in the report involved a 102 year old resident with a gastric tube. Although the resident was categorized as receiving nothing by mouth, the physician ordered that a prescription be administered by mouth. Although the nursing chart indicated that the nurse had in fact administered this medicine orally, in a subsequent interview, she stated that she had provided the medication via the gastric tube.
It appears from the report that the nurse administered the medication in the correct manner. The prescribing physician may have overlooked the patient’s “nothing by mouth” status, or simply made a mistake. The nurse’s error, according to the unit manager, was that the order should have been changed in accordance with the resident’s chart. Ultimately, the resident receiving the medicine correctly is important, but not having the physician revise the order leaves open the possibility that in the future the medicine will be given incorrectly. Maintaining accurate records and charts is a must in a nursing home environment. Fortunately in this case, the error did not lead to serious injury for the elderly resident.
The Department of Health report can be found on its website, or by clicking here.