Nursing homes are not known for their stellar safety records. In fact, they are usually known by most for the exact opposite; for providing substandard care that can lead to resident injury and even premature death in some cases. A recent study administered by the Health and Human Services Department found that 22% of nursing home residents suffered some kind of preventable injury such as medication errors, falls, and infections.
According to an article by Modern Healthcare, one of the biggest problems for consumers about the nursing home industry is the lack of awareness of individual nursing home reputations. The article notes that the study suggests that nursing homes are subject to heightened government scrutiny and also create “a list of potential events to help nursing home staff better recognize harm; a review of nursing home practices by state surveyors; and encouraging nursing homes to report adverse events to patient safety organizations, among other measures.”
Others suggest that, in order to make a real difference in the quality of nursing homes, the number and types of safety incidents should be made public for each nursing home.
The Safety of Maryland Nursing Homes
Maryland nursing homes, like those throughout the country, are subject to some significant government scrutiny. In fact, nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are required to conform to a number of strict rules and regulations regarding resident safety.
The problem is not a lack of rules. The problem is enforcement. With the sheer number of nursing homes across the State of Maryland, it is extremely difficult for state organizations to inspect all the nursing homes. Instead, safety violations usually are exposed after it is too late; once someone is hurt or killed by nursing home negligence or abuse.
Nursing Homes’ Obligations to Their Clients
When nursing homes accept residents for a fee, they are taking on a duty to provide the promised level of care. When nursing homes fail to live up to this duty, the victims of such nursing home negligence can sue the nursing home (and sometimes the attending nurse, as well as any parent company) for their injuries or loss.
In some cases these suits are for injuries that could have been prevented. In others, the lawsuits are carried out by the victim’s family, because the nursing home negligence resulted in the victim’s death. In these cases, the family will bring what is called a wrongful death lawsuit.
Are You Considering Bringing a Wrongful Death Claim in Maryland?
If you have recently lost a relative to a Maryland nursing home incident and are considering bringing a wrongful death lawsuit, you should speak with an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney as soon as possible. The law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen is skilled in handling all kinds of nursing home claims, whether based on nursing home abuse or nursing home negligence. If you have any questions about the Maryland wrongful death laws, contact an attorney at Lebowitz & Mzhen at 41-654-3600 or contact the firm online.
See More Blog Posts:
University of Maryland Study Shows Correlation Between Patient Turnover and Poor Nursing Home Quality, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 17, 2014.
Nine People Arrested After Death of Long Island Nursing Home Patient, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 11, 2014.