St. John’s Health Care Corporation: 21 COVID Fatalities, Infection Control Citation

St. John’s Health Care Corporation suffered 20 fatalities from Covid-19 as of June 29, 2020, per state records. The nursing home also received 56 citations finding it violated public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to health records accessed on June 30, 2020, including two citations that dealt with infection control deficiencies. The facility has also received fines totaling $20,000 over findings that it violated health code provisions regarding quality of care. The Rochester nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of nine surveys by state inspectors. The violations they describe include the following:

1. The nursing home did not take effective measures to prevent infection. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing homes are required to create and maintain an infection prevention and control program that helps ensure a safe and sanitary environment for residents. A November 2017 citation found that St. John’s Health Care Corporation did not ensure such for one resident. The citation states specifically that after providing incontinence care for the resident, a Certified Nursing Assistant “removed the black booties and socks from the resident’s feet, then dumped out water” without first removing his gloves. The CNA was then observed applying a cream to the resident’s rectal area, then, without first removing his gloves or washing his hands, rolling the resident on his back and applying the cream to the resident’s perineal creases, applying Attends, pulling up the resident’s pants, applying socks and booties, and emptying the resident’s wash bin. In an interview, the CNA said that he should have changed his gloves and washed his hands at certain points during the provision of care.

2. An August 2016 citation also found that St. John’s Health Care Corporation failed to effectively establish and maintain an infection control program. The citation states specifically that a glucometer was not cleaned between resident uses, that a resident environment was cross-contaminated after a wound dressing change, that staff did not change gloves while providing personal care, that staff placed a soiled linen on the floor, that staff handled residents’ food without wearing gloves, that ice machines were observed with soiled drip trays, and that bedside mats were observed with exposed foam. The citation states that these deficiencies had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”

3. The nursing home did not adequately prevent medication errors. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must ensure their residents “are free of any significant medication errors.” An October 2016 citation found that St. John’s Health Care Corporation did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that one resident “was not administered blood pressure medications per physician orders.” It goes on to state that there was no documentation the medications were issued on a certain date. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included a review of medication administration records and the education of staff on proper policy.

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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