Promenade Rehabilitation and Health Care Center Cited over Elopement

Promenade Rehabilitation and Health Care Center received 34 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 2, 2020. The facility was also the subject of a 2016 fine of $8,000 in connection to findings it violated health code provisions regarding social services, accidents, quality assessment and assurance, and administrative practices and procedures. The Rockaway Park nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of six inspections by state surveyors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did ensure residents received adequate supervision to prevent elopement. Under Section 483.25 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities are required to provide residents with a setting as free as possible from accident hazards, and with adequate supervision to prevent them from sustaining accidents such as elopement. A May 2018 citation found that Promenade Rehabilitation and Health Care failed to ensure one of its residents received adequate supervision to prevent the resident from leaving the facility. The citation specifically states that the resident had been identified as “at risk for elopement,” and eloped after being escorted to an appointment at the local hospital. According to the citation, a review of the hospital’s security camera recording revealed that the resident’s escort “was distracted and did not supervise [the resident] while they were both in the lobby area of the hospital,” at one point exiting the building for a period of ten minutes and leaving the resident alone. The facility’s plan of correction in response to the citation included the termination of the escort in question.

2.  The nursing home did not keep resident drug regimens free from unnecessary drugs. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to maintain “each resident’s drug regimen… free from unnecessary drugs.” An April 2017 citation describes the nursing home’s failure to ensure that residents using medication for an unspecified condition “receive gradual dose reductions, and behavioral interventions, unless clinically contraindicated, in an effort to discontinue these drugs.” The citation states specifically that the facility did not implement one resident’s pharmacist-recommended and physician-approved dose reduction for klonopin. The citation states that this deficiency had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not protect residents’ right to be free from physical restraints. Section 483.13 of the Federal Code states that nursing homes residents have the right “to be free from any physical or chemical restraints imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience, and not required to treat the resident’s medical symptoms.” According to a July 2016 citation, the nursing home did not ensure that three of its residents who had been reviewed for the use of restraints were free from such. The citation states specifically that one resident was observed “in bed with bilateral full siderails and bilateral hand” without any documentation that the resident had been assessed for the use of such; that a second resident was observed “in bed with bilateral full siderails” without any relevant documentation; and that a third resident was observed “in bed with bilateral full siderails” without relevant documentation. The citation states that these deficiencies had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

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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