Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation Cited for Accident Hazards

Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation received 32 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 five surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not provide residents with an environment free of accident hazards. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires that resident environments remain “as free from accident hazards as is possible.” An August 2017 citation found that  Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation did not comply with this section. An inspector specifically observed “multiple resident rooms” that contain counters and/or wall surfaces with “sharp, jagged edges.” The citation states that an inspector also observed a television cord that was “plugged into an extension cord and taped to the wall,.” The citation states further that there was no documentation of any requests for repairs to the concerns described by the inspector, and that in an interview, a Licensed Practical Nurse said: “I hadn’t noticed the broken pieces of the sink or other resident rooms or equipment in need of repair. I will put a request for repairs in the maintenance book.” The citation describes these deficiencies as having the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

2. The nursing home did not comply with infection control standards. Per Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must maintain an infection prevention and control program that ensures residents “a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment.” According to a September 2018 citation, Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation did not comply with this section in three capacities. The citation states that an inspector observed two residents’ Foley catheter drainage bags touching the floor, in contravention of policy; a staff member who did not wash their hands or use an alcohol-based hand rub while performing wound care; and a staff member who “did not perform appropriate hand washing technique at the beginning and end of a wound care dressing observation.” The citation describes these deficiencies as having the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not take adequate measures to ensure residents were not administered unnecessary medications. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to keep resident medication regiments free of unnecessary medications. A May 2016 citation found that Harlem Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation “did not provide adequate indications for the use of antipsychotic medication for an elderly resident.” According to the citation, the resident’s medical records, as well as interviews of facility staff, “did not reveal observations of hallucinations or delusions.” Although they revealed “episodes of agitation and aggression,” according to the citation, they did not “provide evidence that the facility staff met as an interdisciplinary team to address the behaviors and develop a comprehensive care plan that provides non-pharmalogical [sic] interventions” before administering the medication in question.

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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