An investigative report of Wisconsin nursing homes recently exposed the serious safety violations, injuries, and wrongful deaths that have resulted from medication errors, improper supervision , and other mistakes on the part of nursing home staffs.
Over the past three years, regulators have issued 231 immediate jeopardy citations to Wisconsin nursing homes. These citations are reserved for only the most serious cases, and the stories gathered by local reporters indicate that the citations were given after serious injuries.
The citation procedure results in fines for nursing homes from both the state and federal government. Nursing homes also often change their procedures in response to a specific accident, although many patients’ advocates argue that after a serious accident is too late.
In one woman’s case, it took 26 accidents for the nursing home to finally change its procedures. A Stoughton woman fell 26 times, breaking her pelvis during the last fall in 2010. Nursing home officials said that they implemented more safety measures after the woman’s initial falls, but were unsuccessful in preventing her serious injury. That facility is still in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that will work for all residents. The woman who suffered from the broken pelvis now has constant supervision, although this is clearly unsustainable for the entire population of the facility.
More information on the citations and the state of nursing home care in Wisconsin is expected soon, as more information from the investigation is released. We will follow the story and provide an update on these legal cases when it becomes available.