It is a well-known fact that nursing homes do not enjoy an unblemished reputation when it comes to the quality of care they provide to their residents. In fact, it seems that one can hardly go a couple days without reading about some instance of abuse, neglect, or other misconduct committed by nursing home staff or management.
Because of these concerns, lawmakers across the country have banded together to increase the regulations placed on nursing homes in the hopes that the quality of care being provided will increase. According to one DelmarvaNow report, a local online news source, the following areas will be targeted by federal regulations:
- Measures of facilities’ use of anti-psychotic drugs; and
- The use of more refined metrics to check for adequate staffing.
Delmarva Nursing Homes Are On Par
The article goes into a superficial, although somewhat useful, analysis of Delmarva nursing homes, noting that the peninsula’s nursing facilities fare about average as compared to the rest of the nation. One area where the local nursing homes excel is in the area of prevalence of pressure ulcers, use of restraints, and the extent of falls resulting in injury. This is an important category, but it is far from the only important metric in the study.
The Use of Anti-Psychotics in Maryland Nursing Homes
One of the main focuses of the new regulations nursing homes will face is the administration of often dangerous anti-psychotic medication. Under new regulations, the nursing home will have to better document the use of these drugs. The use of anti-psychotic drugs coincides with another area of concern: staffing.
The concern is that understaffed nursing homes will make up for a lack of staffing by administering drugs instead of providing care. In other words, patients who may require additional care may be medicated unnecessarily in lieu of hiring an additional nurse to provide the necessary care.
Of course, this is problematic because, as one advocacy group put it, “When you’re using anti-psychotics, your residents could be suffering increased falls, they’re immobile, so you can see increases in pressure ulcers. They’re very problematic.” Ideally, nursing homes would not substitute dangerous pharmaceutical drugs for increased human interaction and care.
Do You Have a Loved One in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one who is currently residing at a Maryland nursing home, and you are concerned with the quality of care they are receiving, you or your loved one may be entitled to monetary damages if there have been provable instances of abuse or neglect. Often, abuse and neglect in nursing homes is fairly well hidden because the victims of such abuse are hesitant to come forward for numerous reasons. However, when abuse or neglect is discovered, financial recovery may be an option. To learn more, contact the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC at 410-654-3600.
See More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Video Catches Employees Abusing Elderly Patients, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 5, 2014.
Alabama Nursing Home Employee Indicted for Abusing 96-Year-Old Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 23, 2014.