Bronx (NYC) Nursing Home Cited For Allowing Resident To Elope For Twelve Hour Period Without Being Noticed

Terrace Health Care Center, a Bronx (NYC) nursing home, was cited in a May 27, 2008 survey for failing to supervise and monitor a resident who was able to elope from the facility for a twelve and half hour period without being noted as missing. The resident had a history of illicit drug use and had previously requested a five hour pass numerous times. The resident was not noted as missing at any of his meals, rehabilitation sessions, medication distribtion, or on any rounds made by nursing staff.

The resident had not been assessed for his propensity to elope and no care plan had been implemented in order to prevent him from eloping. Even more startling, investigators interviewed the Director of Nursing, Assistant Director of Nursing, MDS Coordinator, Quality Assurance Manager, and Assistant Administrator as a group, and when they were asked how residents are assessed for elopement, no one could provide a response. Furthermore, the surveyor was provided a Policy and Procedure titled “Criteria For Risk Assessment ‘Wandering’ or ‘Elopement’ and the Care Plan Process” dated 5/19/08. There form had no initial date or revision date posted on it. The incident in question occurred on 5/14/09, five days before the initiation of the policy.

As a result of the investigation, the surveyors found that the facility failed to have a system in place to assess all residents for risk of elopement, which resulted in Immediate Jeopardy and Substandard Quality of Care to Residents. The Bronx nursing home was fined $8,000.00.

Failing to properly assess residents for their risk of wandering or eloping can lead to serious injuries, and is a form of nursing home neglect. Please contact the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC for a free consultation regarding your potential nursing home neglect or abuse matter.

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