The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation and Nursing Center received 27 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 29, 2019. The Valhalla nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four inspections by state surveyors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:
1. The nursing home did not adequately implement an infection prevent and control system. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities must create and maintain infection prevention and control protocols that are “designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.” An August 2018 citation found that the facility did not properly ensure its staff undertook adequate hand hygiene measures “to prevent cross contamination and the spread of infection” in connection to one resident. The citation states specifically that during a wound observation of the resident, who was at risk of developing a pressure ulcer, an inspector observed a Licensed Practical Nurse “his bare hands to reposition the resident in bed, in addition to pulling the bedside curtain to maintain privacy.” Then, without sanitizing his hands, the nurse in question put on a pair of of gloves with which he opened a saline solution bottle, poured the solution on gauze pads, and cleaned the resident’s wound. According to the citation, the nurse continued wearing “the soiled gloves” as he went on to perform several other activities that included touching the wound. The citation states that this conduct had the “potential to cause more than minimal harm.”
2. The nursing home did not properly implement its abuse and neglect investigation and reporting policies. Section 483.12 of the Federal Code requires nursing homes to develop and implement policies and procedures that prohibit and prevent abuse and neglect, and that provide for the investigation of abuse and neglect allegations. A November 2018 citation found that the nursing home failed to thoroughly investigate a resident’s unwitnessed fall, and to timely report the incident to state authorities in order to rule out the possibility of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. The citation states further that the nursing home failed to report and investigate a second fall sustained by the resident. In response to the citation, the nursing home initiated an investigation into one of the incidents, and stated its intention to report the incident and the investigation’s results to state health authorities.
3. The nursing home did not ensure residents were not administered unnecessary drugs. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing home facilities must ensure resident medication regiments contain no unnecessary medications. An August 2016 citation found that The Grove did not ensure such for two residents. In one instances, a resident was administered an antipsychotic medication without the care team “quantifying the frequency of targeted behaviors and evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of non-pharmacological interventions” to address them; and without considering a medical condition as the cause of the resident’s behavioral symptoms. In the case of the other resident, the citation states that “there was no justification” for not reducing the dosage of that resident’s antipsychotic medication over the course of a year. The citation describes these deficiencies as having 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.