The New York State Department of Health (DOH) fined the Westgate Nursing Home, a 124-bed facility located in Rochester, New York, $6,338 for numerous deficiencies that placed many residents in immediate jeopardy. Some deficiencies were repeat violations that the facility was cited for during previous inspections.
In June 2013, a DOH report revealed that the nursing home failed to fix faulty and dangerous electrical outlets and power cords in patients’ rooms. One legally blind resident had a frayed 12-foot extension cord in her room that was plugged into a live outlet. The cord was not plugged into any electrical device and was placed near a metal bed stand. The blind resident told DOH investigators that she complained to staff members that he cord was frayed and “sparked” when plugged into the outlet in her room. When the maintenance crew inspected the cord and outlet, they did not fix it or remove the cord from the room. The DOH concluded that the cord placed the resident at risk of being electrocuted and could have caused a fire. DOH investigators also stated that the facility did not have effective procedures in place to inspect electrical cords and outlets on a routine basis.
The DOH also cited the nursing home for failing to provide adequate supervision to a partially paralyzed stroke patient while he was eating. According to the patient’s care plan, the resident was considered to be at risk of choking and needed to be monitored by a staff member while he ate. However, the DOH observed the patient eating waffles, sausages and a drink while alone in his room. Staff members acknowledged that the patient should have been supervised and could have choked as a result of the incident.
The facility also received a citation for failing to report allegations of abuse. A resident diagnosed with schizophrenia told DOH investigators that a staff member had yelled at her and was rude. The resident stated that she reported the incident, but nothing was ever done. Investigators could not find any written report of the alleged abuse. A nurse said that she told her supervisor about the resident’s complaint. Yet, the supervisor the nurse told was the person being accused of the abuse and no further action was taken to investigate the incident. An administrator told DOH officials that the nurse should have sought out another supervisor to report the incident. The administrator stated that he would begin an investigation into the matter.
The DOH also cited the nursing home for making medication errors and for failing to keep the facility clean for the residents. For instance, one resident frequently received the wrong dose of her diabetes medication due to a paperwork error. DOH officials also noted that the nursing home had numerous water leads that created pools of stagnating water. The facility was also cited with faulty ventilation equipment. Overall, the nursing received a rating of well below average.