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State concerned about patient safety at Chicago nursing home

As your loved ones age and begin to need additional medical care and attention each day to monitor and manage their health, you may consider moving a parent, grandparent or spouse in a nursing home in the Chicago area. This may help you feel more at ease and assured that your loved one is receiving the medical attention he or she needs. However, you might also be concerned about the quality of care your loved one receives, prompting you to do some extensive research and interviewing of homes before you find a place you can trust.

To help ensure that nursing home facilities are safe for patients in our state and to provide families with more confidence that their loved ones are being properly cared for while living at a nursing home, new reform laws were enacted in 2010 by the Illinois Department of Public Health. These new laws subject facilities to more inspections, greater fines and license revocations when nursing home abuse, violence or negligence is discovered.

In the case of one Chicago nursing home facility cited for violence and abuse, new reform laws prompted officials with the Department of Public Health to place two monitors at the facility to ensure that the home’s staff remains focused on providing quality care to patients and that the facility also reduces patient-on-patient violence. But despite numerous instances of abuse and violence that have been reported over the last few years at the facility, the monitors were issued a temporary restraining order from the facility this year.

The Chicago nursing home facility, which cares for mentally ill patients, claims that the monitors have been overstepping their boundaries in their efforts to ensure patient safety and that the monitors have offended staff at the facility. A judge approved the restraining order in January, but now public health officials are fighting back arguing that the facility needs to be heavily monitored as a result of serious violations of patient safety that have been reported at the facility. One report involved a patient who was raped by two other patients at the facility last summer.

A hearing is scheduled in May over the dispute concerning whether or not the nursing home facility should be better monitored by the state in order to ensure patient safety. Officials from the Department of Public Health reported that they are very concerned about the safety of patients at the facility. Some have even argued that the facility should be shut down.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Beleaguered nursing home manages to expel 2 state monitors,” David Jackson and Gary Marx, April 16, 2012


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