Upper East Side Nursing and Rehabilitation Center Cited, Fined $12,000

Upper East Side Nursing and Rehabilitation Center received 17 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on January 31, 2020. The facility has also been the subject of a 2018 fine of $12,000 in connection to findings during a February 2018 inspection that it violated unspecified health code provisions. The Manhattan 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 adequately implement infection prevention and control policies and procedures. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to “establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program” that ensures residents a safe and sanitary environment. A March 2019 citation found that Upper East Side Nursing and Rehabilitation Center did not adequately maintain its infection control practices in such a manner as to prevent communicable diseases from arising and transmitting. A inspector specifically found that a resident’s “Catheter drainage bag and tubing were… touching the floor and the floor mat in the resident’s room.” The citation states that the inspector observed such on two separate instances, and that this deficiency contravened facility policy regarding indwelling catheters. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the re-education of relevant staff and an “observation audit to ensure the appropriate positioning of Foley bags.”

2. The nursing home did not maintain sufficiently low medication error rates. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to maintain medication error rates below five percent. A February 2018 citation found that Upper East Side Nursing and Rehabilitation Center did not ensure one of its residents was kept free of significant medication errors. The citation specifically describes a resident whose Primary Medical Doctor provided a telephone order for a certain medication. The resident was instead administered a different medication, according to the citation, and “found unresponsive approximately six hours later.” The citation notes that this deficiency resulted in “actual harm” to the resident.

3. The nursing home did not properly conduct fire drills. Life Safety Code Section 101 requires nursing homes to hold fire drills “at expected and unexpected times under varying conditions.” A March 2019 citation found that Upper East Side Nursing and Rehabilitation Center did not perform fire drills under varied conditions in compliance with this section. The citation specifically states that a review of facility documentation and interviews with its staff demonstrated that during an unspecified date range, “the scenario used in each fire drill was fire in a resident room.” The citation goes on to describe fire drill reports that were “handwritten and not clearly legible,” rendering it impossible for inspectors to determine how staff responded to the fire drills and what follow-up actions were taken. The citation describes this deficiency as resulting in the “potential to cause 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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