White Plains Center for Nursing Care Cited for Unnecessary Drugs

White Plains Center for Nursing Care received 51 citations for violations of public health laws between 2015 and 2019, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on November 4, 2019. The White Plains nursing home’s citations, which include 19 more than the statewide average, resulted from five inspections by the state inspectors. The violations described in these citations include the following:

1. The nursing home failed to ensure that residents’ drug regimens were free from unnecessary drugs. Section 483.45 of the Federal Code requires that nursing homes keep “each resident’s drug regimen… free from unnecessary drugs,” defining as unnecessary any drug that is used in an excessive dose, for an excessive duration, without proper monitoring or indications, and/or in the presence of adverse consequences. A March 2019 citation found that White Plains Center for Nursing Care did not ensure that one of five residents reviewed was properly monitored for pain and the effectiveness of pain medication he was receiving. An inspector specifically found that the resident “was receiving Opioid medication on 5 out of 7 days during the assessment period,” but that there was no evidence the resident’s pain level was evaluated before medication was provided. A review of records by the Department of Health found further that the records did not prompt medical staff to document residents’ pain levels.

2. The nursing home did not take proper steps to prevent and control infection. Under Section 483.80 of the Federal Code, nursing home facilities “must establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.” A March 2019 citation found, however, that the nursing home’s staff failed to comply with this standard in several ways. An inspector found that staff “did not follow proper hand hygiene” so as to prevent cross-contamination and/or infection during an observed mealtime; and that the nursing home “did not develop a site-specific water management plan for Legionella,” instead relying on an external consultant to develop such. The Department of Health noted in its citation that these failures had the potential to cause more than minimal harm to residents.

3. The nursing home did not ensure an environment free of accident hazards. Section 483.25 of the Federal Code requires nursing home facilities to provide residents with an environment as free as possible from accident hazards, and to ensure that every resident receives supervision and assistive devices adequate to prevent accidents. A January 2018 citation found that White Plains Center for Nursing Care did not ensure that one of three residents reviewed for elopement, or wandering, was “monitored every 15 minutes as ordered.” An inspector found that although the resident had both dementia and psychosis and was supposed to be monitored frequently, they “exited the facility undetected by staff,” and that nursing home employees did not notice the resident had left for at least two hours. The citation notes that the resident left the facility at 7:54pm on the evening in question; although an assistant did not observe the resident while distributing snacks around 8:30pm, “no attempt was made to locate the resident at that time.” A nursing assistant noticed the resident was missing at about 10:10pm, and the resident was returned to the facility by local police at 3:20am. The Department of Health found that this violation had the potential to cause residents 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.

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