Amsterdam Nursing Home Cited for Elopement, Fall

Amsterdam Nursing Home received 17 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 31, 2020. The Manhattan nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of six surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not provide adequate supervision to prevent elopement. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to provide residents an environment as free as possible from accident hazards, and with adequate supervision to prevent residents from sustaining accidents such as elopement. An October 2017 citation found that Amsterdam Nursing Home did not ensure a resident who had been reviewed for “unsafe wandering” was provided with adequate supervision and assistive devices. The citation states specifically that the resident was able to leave their unit unsupervised following the deactivation of a “wander guard alarm, used with an electronic bracelet device to assist in prevention of unsafe wandering and elopement.” The resident left the facility “undetected” thanks to malfunctioning wander guard alarms at its entrance, according to the citation, and while outside the facility suffered a fall and head injury. The citation states further that facility staff did not become aware of the resident’s elopement until 20 minutes afterward, when they were informed by police officers who found the resident. The citation states that this deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

2. The nursing home did not follow food safety standards. Per Section 483.60 of the Federal Code,  nursing home facilities are required to “Store, prepare, distribute and serve food in accordance with professional standards for food service safety.” A January 2017 citation found that Amsterdam Nursing Home did not employ adequate food safety measures to prevent food-borne illness. An inspector found specifically that the facility’s kitchen staff “did not run the dishwasher machine so that it would reach acceptable temperatures” before washing dishes. A food service worker stated in an interview that the kitchen staff had not received in-servicing regarding proper use of the dishwasher. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the drafting of a new policy concerning monitoring of water temperatures, and the in-servicing of employees.

3. The nursing home did meet maintain adequate infection control practices. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing homes are required to “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment” that ensures the prevention of communicable diseases from developing and transmitting. A June 2019 citation found that Amsterdam Nursing Home did not adequately comply with this section. An inspector specifically observed that a resident’s Foley catheter drainage bag was touching the floor of their room. The citation notes that this was in contravention of facility policy that states, “Ensure that drainage bag is not touching the floor.” In an interview, the facility’s Director of Nursing Services stated that, “We have been giving the staff in service training on these issues. I don’t know why this happened. This must be an isolated case.” The citation describes this deficiency as having the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents.  Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.

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