Nursing home neglect is a serious issue that can affect the health and well-being of residents and expose health care entities to legal liability. However, New York health care entities can take steps to avoid nursing home neglect accusations, and there are possible defenses to those accusations.
Care and supervision
The first step to avoid nursing home neglect accusations is to provide adequate care and supervision to the residents. This means ensuring that the staff are qualified, trained and sufficient in number to meet the needs of the residents. It also means following the standards of care and regulations set by the state and federal authorities, such as the New York Department of Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Additionally, it means maintaining a safe and sanitary environment, preventing falls and injuries, preventing infections and bedsores, administering medications properly and addressing any complaints or concerns promptly.
Documentation and communication
The second step to avoid nursing home neglect accusations is to document and communicate the care and services provided to the residents. This means keeping accurate and complete records of the residents’ medical history, treatment plans, progress notes, assessments, evaluations and any incidents or adverse events that occur. It also means informing the residents and their families of any changes in their condition or care plan, obtaining informed consent for any procedures or interventions and respecting their rights and preferences.
The third step to avoid nursing home neglect accusations is to cooperate with any investigations or inspections conducted by the authorities or agencies. This means providing access to the facility, records, staff and residents as requested, answering any questions truthfully and respectfully and complying with any recommendations or corrective actions issued.
If a New York health care entity is accused of nursing home neglect, it may have some possible defenses to those accusations. Some of these defenses are that the resident’s condition was not caused or worsened by the health care entity’s negligence, but by other factors ,such as pre-existing conditions, natural aging or unforeseeable complications.
Another defense is that the health care entity acted reasonably and in good faith according to the accepted standards of care and practice in the industry. This is in addition to the fact that the health care entity complied with all of the applicable laws and regulations governing nursing home care and services, among many other defenses.