Brooklyn based nursing home Schulman and Schachne Institute for Nursing and Rehabilitation was fined $12,000 in late 2012 by the Department of Health. The fine stems from a certification survey taken in January, 2010 in which the nursing home received deficient ratings in four health related categories.
In two areas documented in the survey, the DOH found that Schulman and Schachne’s deficiencies caused actual harm to its residents. In the first incident, the home failed to maintain an environment free from accident hazards. As a result, a resident fell fourteen times over a five and a half month period. One of the falls led to a hip fracture. The resident had several underlying conditions making her a fall risk, including seizure disorder, glaucoma, and prior brain surgery. She required assistance with many, if not most, activities of daily living. The nursing home had labeled her a “high risk” for falls, and a created a care plan to address her risk for falls. However, after multiple falls, the care plan was not reevaluated and the resident was not reassessed. Moreover, no new interventions were put into place. An interview with the Director of Nursing revealed that there was no documented evidence that interventions were reassessed, or that additional interventions were implemented.
As many people with elderly loved ones know, a fall leading to a fracture can lead to severe consequences. The lessened ability to move and further loss of functionality can lead to additional health consequences, such as weight loss, bedsores (pressure ulcers), and infection. For an elderly individual with already diminished mobility and functionality, a fall can greatly hinder health and well-being for the remainder of the individual’s life.
The second incident documented at Schulman and Schachne that led to actual harm involved significant weight loss in a resident. This individual, an eighty-eight year old who was entirely dependent upon the staff for several daily activities, including eating. The care plan implemented for the resident required that the facility monitor the patient’s weight. However, there was no documented evidence that this was done for the period of a full month. Over that month the resident, who had already lost approximately six pounds since admission, lost another fifteen pounds. The dietician should have been notified of this weight loss, yet she was not. Perhaps this is because the facility failed to document the weight loss. Regardless, the dietician told the DOH that she, herself, could have more closely monitored the resident for weight loss yet she did not.
Actual harm that is not immediate jeopardy is the third highest (out of four) deficiency rating that the Department of Health gives. In both of the cases cited above, the resident suffered an actual injury due to the deficient practices of Schulman and Schachne. There were other sub-par areas found by the DOH in its report, and they can be found here.