Groton Community Health Care Center Residential Care Facility: Infection Citation

Groton Community Health Care Center Residential Care Facility has received 96 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on August 19, 2020. The facility has also received fines totaling $20,000 in connection to findings that it violated health code provisions regarding equipment conditions, pressure sore care, accidents, and administrative practices. The Groton nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not adequately comply with infection control practices and procedures. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.” A January 2019 citation found that Groton Community Health Care Center Residential Care Facility did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that facility staff did not perform hand hygiene while changing a resident’s wound pressure ulcer wound dressing. The citation goes on to describe a Licensed Practical Nurse who, while treating the resident’s wound, “removed her soiled gloves after removing the old dressing, then immediately donned another pair of gloves without performing hand hygiene.” In an interview, the nurse said “she should have performed hand hygiene between glove changes.” In another interview, the facility’s infection control nurse said that “she expected staff to perform hand hygiene after removing and before replacing gloves when completing a dressing change.”

2. The nursing home did not adequately prevent medication errors. Under Section 483.45 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must keep residents “free of any significant medication errors.” A May 2018 citation found that Groton Community Health Care Center Residential Care Facility failed to ensure such for one resident. It goes on to describe specifically a resident who “was not consistently provided with her heart medication as ordered and the facility did not identify the root cause to prevent reoccurrence.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the review and revision of the facility’s medication error policy and the provision of a monthly review of medication error’s to the facility’s QAA committee and Medical Director.

3. The nursing home did not provide adequate treatment and care for pressure ulcers. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must ensure residents with pressure ulcers receive necessary treatment and services to promote healing. A September 2017 citation found that Groton Community Health Care Center Residential Care Facility did not provide such for one resident. The citation specifically describes the facility’s failure to respond to the worsening of a resident’s pressure ulcer, from Stage I to Stage II to Unstageable, by timely ordering and providing a treatment.Among other things, the citation states that when the pressure ulcer deteriorated from Stage I to Stage II, there was no documented evidence that the resident’s physician was notified. A Registered Nurse Manager stated in an interview that she also was not timely notified when the resident’s ulcer worsened, and said further that “she should have been notified.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the review and modification of the nursing home’s pressure ulcer policy.

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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