There are over 15,000 nursing homes in the United States. Nursing home inspectors across the country find deficiencies and elder abuse every day. As a Miami nursing home injury lawyer, I recommend researching the home first to determine if it is safe and clean. Here are four ways to select the best Florida nursing home:
Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) is responsible for licensing, regulating and inspecting Florida’s nursing homes, hospices and hospitals. The AHCA website is a good place for consumers to compare the overall ratings, health inspections, staffing and quality measures of Florida nursing homes. The site also rates the severity of the each deficiency.
For instance the Villa Maria Nursing Center in North Miami was last inspected on August 5, 2011. Observations and deficiencies can be found in the Department of Health and Human Services Summary Statement ranging from moving residents without notice, missing bathroom tiles, wet blankets and finding residents injured on the floor.
The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) posts the entire narrative inspection reports on line. AHCA has a link to the CMS site, but the problem is that neither site allows keyword searches by city, facility name or injury. For instance, if you wanted to compare nursing homes in different states, you would have to go to both websites and pull the inspection reports, deficiencies and complaints. This is burdensome and time consuming.
The Nursing Home Inspect App makes finding a safe and clean nursing home for your parent or injured loved one easier. Their App provides all the information about any given nursing home in any state. You can search by facility name, location, deficiency and then compare the results to other nursing homes across the country.
When using the Nursing Home Inspect App try several different search terms to provide the most comprehensive information. For example, patients commonly get bedsores in Florida nursing homes. But, comparing the frequency of bedsores between nursing homes in different states is difficult since inspectors often describe bedsores as decubitus ulcers, pressure sores, stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 and stage 4. Therefore you should use several different key word search terms to obtain the most comprehensive report.
This app also ranks deficiencies by both severity and by state. For instance, Texas had 342 reported nursing home deficiencies compared to Florida’s 37 cases. The most dangerous deficiency in a Miami nursing home occurred at the Golden Glades Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. A pediatric patient was transferred from a hospital into this nursing center with specific orders for the administration of her medication. According to the investigation and review of the records, the nurses failed to administer her medication timely and the child died.
4. Site Inspection
As a lawyer that sues Miami nursing homes, I realize that many accidents and violations go unreported and therefore, are not investigated. Do not rely only on published complaints and surveys in making your selection. Visit the facility on a number of occasions at different hours to see how well it is maintained. And speak with other residents and family members to evaluate their experiences.