Northern Riverview Health Care Center Cited for Elopement, Infection

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Northern Riverview Health Care Center has received 38 citations for being in violation of  public health code between 2018 and 2022 after a total of 4 surveys by state inspectors found multiple deficiencies within the Haverstraw nursing home.

Northern Riverview Health Care Center received 38 citations for violations of public health code between 2018 and 2022, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on April 7, 2022. The Haverstraw 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 employ adequate accident-prevention measures. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing homes must provide residents with adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents, including elopement. A December 2021 citation found that Northern Riverview Health Care Center failed to ensure such. The citation specifically describes a resident with “severe cognitive impairment,” known to be “a high risk for elopement,” who exited the nursing home through its front door “unnoticed by facility staff.” The individual was later found outside the facility by local police officers. In an interview, the facility’s receptionist said they were distracted at the time of the incident because “the front desk was very busy with employees and visitors coming in and out of the facility, including discharging a resident to home.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the educational counseling of the receptionist.

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The nursing home was cited for failing to implement sufficient accident-prevention measures, they did not implement proper infection-control measures, and the nursing home did not run a background check on employees to check for any criminal history.

2. The nursing home did not employ adequate infection-control measures. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to create and maintain a program designed to prevent and control infection. An October 2020 citation found that Northern Riverview Health Care Center failed to ensure such. The citation specifically states that the facility did not ensure its staff “followed proper hand hygiene and gloving techniques to prevent cross contamination and the spread of infection for 2 of 3 residents… reviewed for pressure ulcers.” It goes on to describe the cross-contamination of wound supplies during a dressing change, and staff failure to conduct proper hand hygiene after removing gloves used during wound care. According to the citation, a Licensed Practical Nurse caring for a resident’s wound prepared the supplies, sanitized her hands, “used her bare hands to open multiple drawers of the treatment cart to obtain more supplies,” then proceeded to remove gauze sponges from packaging without first performing hand hygiene. She then, according to the citation, went into the resident’s room and closed a bedside curtain, after which she put on gloves and started conducting wound care without first performing hand hygiene. In an interview, the LPN said “she should have washed her hands after touching the bedside curtain and after touching the treatment cart,” and added that “she should not have used her bare hands to remove the 4×4 gauze sponges from the package.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the re-education of relevant staff.

3. The nursing home did not adequately conduct a criminal history record check process. Section 402.6 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to ensure the one-to-one supervision of new employees whose criminal history record check is pending. An October 2020 citation found that Northern Riverview Health Care Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that a survey of the nursing home could not ensure it provided that level of supervision to an employee who “had access to vulnerable residents in the facility and was waiting for a determination letter… clearing the employee for employment.” In an interview, the facility’s Administrator said that “the employee was supervised, but the supervision was not documented.”  The citation goes on to state that “there was no documented evidence that the facility received a letter from the DOH CHRC clearing the employee for employment.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the educational counseling of relevant staff. 

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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