Bayberry Nursing Home in New Rochelle, New York received 19 citations for violating New York laws on protecting nursing home residents and ensuring their safety over the previous four years. In the last year alone, the Westchester nursing home received five citations, three of which were categorized as “moderately severe” violations. These are the violations found by the New York State Department of Health in just the previous year:
1. The nursing home had a medication error rate over 5 percent. Under Section 483.25(m)(1) of the Federal Code, a nursing home may not have a medication error rate of over 5 percent. A medication error can include an improperly prescribed medication or an improperly administered medication – typically a prescription drug given at the wrong time, in the wrong dosage, or even a wrong drug altogether. The two examples found in this Westchester nursing home include a patient who received a medication without the extended release coating prescribed by their doctor and a patient who received a dosage of B12 that was 10 times stronger (1,000 mcg) than prescribed (100 mcg). When the resident nurse in the second instance was questioned about the stronger dose, she admitted the resident had been receiving the higher, incorrect dosage for a long period of time. The consequences of medication errors can be catastrophic.
2. The nursing home did not adequately ensure residents knew of their rights. Under Section 483.10(b) of the Federal Code, a nursing home “must inform the resident both orally and in writing in a language the resident understands of his or her rights and all rules and regulations governing resident conduct and responsibilities.” According to the New York State Department of Health inspector, the residents at Bayberry Nursing Home did not know about their rights to report any potential abuse. Specifically, the nursing home did not prominently display contact information for the state’s Abuse Hotline or its Ombudsman Program.
3. The nursing home did not provide its residents the most recent state inspection results. Under Section 483.10(g)(1) of the Federal Code, a resident has the “right to examine the results of the most recent survey of the facility conducted by [government regulators] and any plan of correction… The facility must make the results available for examination and must post in a place readily accessible to residents.” Further, the federal law requires nursing homes to notify its residents of any recent inspection, as well as its resulting report. According to the state inspector, the results of the last inspection were located “in a wall holder next to the elevator” – a difficult place for the residents to find the important document. Not surprisingly, six of the eight residents interviewed by the inspector did not know where to locate the state inspector’s inspection.
4. The nursing home did not ensure all free-standing closets were secured to the wall. Under Section 483.25(h) of the Federal Code, every nursing home “must ensure that the resident environment remains as free of accident hazards as is possible.” Bayberry Nursing Home violated this provision last year when it allowed free-standing closets in 18 out of the 37 rooms inspected. To make matters even worse, the free-standing closets were not secured to the wall to prevent them from falling over, according to the state health inspector.