Nursing home injuries, both in Cleveland and throughout Ohio, are all too common. As we have discussed in previous blog entries, a third of nursing home patients will suffer injury or death as the result of treatment or medication errors—nearly 60% of which are actually preventable errors. With risks this alarmingly high, it is imperative that families know as much as possible about a nursing home prior to putting the lives of loved ones into a facilities potentially dangerous hands.
How People Choose a Nursing Home
Because most people are not familiar with the risks created by nursing home negligence, families and individuals frequently choose a nursing home with a two-step process. They find a nursing home that is nearby, and they schedule a tour. Certainly, families are urged to inspect facilities themselves, and proximity is a valid consideration provided that how close a facility is to relatives’ homes is not placed above considerations for a loved one’s safety and well-being. These two steps alone, though, will not give prospective patients, residents, and families the whole story. Every tour of a nursing home facility is a sales pitch, and facilities can and do take steps to conceal red flags that would demonstrate the true (and negligent) care typically provided.
How Online Nursing Home Research Can Reveal the Full Story
The step that too many individuals skip in the nursing home selection process is visiting the Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare website. This searchable government database allows users to investigate individual nursing homes or compare multiple nursing homes in a selected geographic area. The site provides the results of both health and fire safety inspections, offering both full report results and user-friendly summaries that highlight inspection deficiencies and penalty assessments. Additionally, the site provides both facility- and patient-reported data on a variety of telling quality details like incidence of falls, flu vaccination rates, and incidence of pressure ulcers. These and other indicators of potential negligence and abuse, coupled with inspection results, paint a robust picture of what type of care a patient can expect and can be extremely helpful in selecting the right facility for your loved one.
If your loved one has suffered a nursing home injury or wrongful death and you suspect nursing home negligence is to blame, call Lowe Eklund Wakefield Co., LPA today for a free consultation.