Pine Valley Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing Cited for Elopement

Pine Valley Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing received 14 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 Spring Valley 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 implement adequate measures to prevent residents from eloping. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing homes are required to ensure residents are provided an environment “as free of accident hazards as is possible” and in which they have “adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.” An April 2019 citation found that Pine Valley Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing did not ensure adequate supervision or assistive devices were employed to prevent one resident from eloping, and further that the facility did not adequately investigate the incident of elopement to prevent it from recurring. The citation states specifically that the resident, who had “known wandering behavior” as well as a wander guard, and who had expressed a desire to leave the nursing home, “exited the 3rd floor undetected” before eloping from the nursing home through its front door, past the facility’s receptionist, and triggering an alarm. According to the citation, “The receptionist reset the alarm without investigating to determine the source of the alarm or intervening by following the facility’s policy and procedures for a resident at risk for elopement with a wander guard,” and as such the resident’s elopement went undetected. The citation notes that the resident was redirected back into the facility, which updated its third floor wander guard notification system.

2. The nursing home did not comply with food safety standards. Section 483.35 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to “Store, prepare, distribute and serve food under sanitary conditions.” An October 2016 citation states that Pine Valley Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing did not store food according to industry standards. An inspector specifically found that the facility did not maintain cooling logs for pre-cooked and cooled foods, and that “cold food on the serving line was not being held at the required temperature.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the placement of the identified items into the freezer to obtain optimal serving temperatures.

3. The nursing home ddi not comply with safety standards for smoke barriers. Section 101 of the Life Safety Code states that nursing homes must ensure that smoke barriers are constructed “to provide at least a one half hour fire resistance rating.” A February 2018 citation found that Pine Valley Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing did not meet this requirement, with an inspector specifically noting “a penetration… around data cables in the smoke barrier wall above the suspended ceiling in one of three smoke barrier walls examined on the 3 East unit.” In an interview, the facility’s Assistant Administrator said that the penetration would be sealed “immediately.”

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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