Northern Riverview Health Care Center Cited for Unnecessary Drugs

Northern Riverview Health Care Center received 26 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on February 14, 2020. The Haverstraw nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of three surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not keep residents’ drug regimens free from unnecessary psychotropic medications. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to keep resident drug regimens free from medications that affect “brain activities associated with mental processes and behavior.” A November 2018 citation found that Northern Riverview Health Care Center did not ensure such. The citation specifically describes a resident for whom the facility did not implement a gradual dose reduction or provide sufficient documentation contra-indicating gradual dose reduction for the use of a medication to treat depression and another redacted disorder. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the evaluation of the resident by a psychiatrist and the discontinuation of the medication.

2. The nursing home did not implement proper measures to prevent and control infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to create and maintain “an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment.” A November 2018 citation found that Northern Riverview Health Care Center did not take ensure such a program was maintained. An inspector specifically observed a resident caring for her tracheostomy tube with an improper technique and without using proper hand hygiene measures. In an interview, the resident stated that she had been taught to perform the activity by a doctor in a hospital rather than by facility staff. The citation states further that the resident’s care plan contained no evidence that facility staff trained the resident or attempted to train her to care for her device in a manner that would prevent the potential spread of infection and cross contamination. The citation describes this deficiency as having the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not adequately store and label drugs and biologicals. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must label drugs and biologicals “in accordance with currently accepted professional principles, and include the appropriate accessory and cautionary instructions, and the expiration date.” A November 2018 citation found that Northern Riverview Health Care Center did not store and label drugs and biologicals in compliance with professional standards. An inspector specifically found that “two insulins” in one medication cart were “opened and in use beyond the manufacturer’s recommendation,” which was that the pens be discarded 28 days after they were opened. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the discarding of the pens 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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