October 22, 2017
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Miller’s Senior Living Community

 

INDIANAPOLIS — The family of an Indianapolis man who became afflicted with multiple, advanced pressure ulcers after being admitted to a nursing home for rehabilitation has filed a “proposed complaint” with the Indiana Department of Insurance (IDOI) alleging nursing home neglect. The complaint was filed against the alleged owners and operators of Miller’s Senior Living Community, located at 8400 Clear Vista Place in Indianapolis.

A pressure ulcer (also commonly referred to as a “pressure sore”, “bed sore”, “decubitus ulcer”, or “dermal ulcer”) is defined as a localized area of tissue injury that develops when soft tissue is compressed between a bony prominence and an external surface for a prolonged period of time. The external surface may be a mattress, a chair or wheelchair, or even other parts of the body.  A pressure sore  is by-and-large preventable if appropriate measures are taken by the health care provider. Tragically, too many victims who are vulnerable to the development of pressure sores are not capable of complaining of the discomfort or pain they are enduring, or of taking measures of their own to eliminate the factors leading to the development of the pressure sores.

The complaint alleges that the patient was making progress in therapy but still required “diligent nursing care to prevent the development of pressure sores.” According to the complaint, the nursing home records indicate that the staff failed to regularly reposition the patient, failed to conduct proper and timely skin inspections with daily and incontinent care, failed to properly assess the pressure wounds once they developed, failed to provide a proper mattress, and failed to provide wound treatments ordered by the patient’s physician. According to the complaint, the patient developed pressure sores on his sacrum, both buttocks, and both his left and right shoulders. At least one of the pressure wounds was noted with a “foul odor”, according to the complaint.

Nursing Home Cited By Indiana State Department of Health

The proposed complaint alleges that investigations of the facility conducted by the Indiana State Department of Health (“ISDH”) revealed care violations “strongly indicative of serious systemic failures in the hiring, training, oversight, and management of the Nursing Home staff.” According to the complaint, a few months before the patient’s admission to the facility in July of 2014, the Nursing Home was investigated and cited by the ISDH for numerous care violations, including the failure to implement care as ordered by a physician to prevent skin breakdown. The complaint further alleges that the ISDH Statement of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction dated July 31, 2014 detailed some of the evidence supporting its finding, including that the facility’s director of nursing confirmed to the investigator that its nursing staff failed to document a known wound for six (6) days and that MARs (medication administration records) indicated nursing failed to provide ordered treatments for days.

The proposed complaint alleges that “this repeated failure to document existing pressure sores in a timely manner is the exact issue that was highlighted by the ISDH in the July 31, 2014 Statement of Deficiencies and Plan of Correction, and strongly suggests that there remained un-remedied systemic care failures related to the prevention and treatment of pressure sores.”

Preventable Nursing Home Injuries Are Common

Unfortunately, preventable injuries are all too common in nursing homes.  According to a recent report by the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, 1 out of every 3 patients who stay in a nursing home will suffer harm or injury as a result of the care they receive.   The report also found that most of these incidents were “clearly or likely preventable.”  Importantly, the report attributed much of the preventable harm to “substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care.”

“The Same Problems, Repeated Over and Over”

The family is represented by the Powless Law Firm, which is located in Indianapolis and represents victims of nursing home neglect and abuse. “When you see the same problems, repeated over and over, you have to be concerned because it demonstrates that management can’t or won’t make the necessary corrections,” said Jeff Powless, an attorney for the family who filed the claim.  “Soon we will be taking the depositions of those responsible for the care in this nursing home, and we will get to the bottom of what led to these problems.”

According to the Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare website, the Miller’s facility is owned by Johnson Memorial Hospital and has an overall rating of “below average.” According to the same website, “Miller’s Health Systems, Inc.” has had “operational/managerial control” since March 1, 2013.

How You Can Help

Our investigation into this matter is still ongoing. As part of our investigation, we are seeking former employees of Miller’s Senior Living Community, Miller’s Health Systems, Inc., and Johnson Memorial Hospital who may have knowledge concerning this facility’s staffing levels, policies and procedures, training issues and any other factors that may have contributed to unsafe patient conditions. If you are a former employee or family of a patient of Miller’s Senior Living Community with knowledge concerning any of these matters, please contact us confidentially by calling 877-769-5377.

The Powless Law Firm is an Indiana law firm that represents victims and families state-wide in serious cases involving nursing home neglect, medical negligence, personal injury and wrongful death. If you have concerns about nursing home neglect or abuse, please contact us at 877-769-5377. Together we can make a difference.

Other related articles of interest:

Why Bother Suing Bad Nursing Homes?
Complaint Against Indiana Nursing Home Alleges Neglect and Understaffing
The Problem of Pain Medication Theft in Nursing Homes
Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against Columbus Indiana Nursing Home

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