Nursing home facilities across New York face incredible challenges, including defending themselves when allegations of abuse or neglect of their patients arise.
Nursing home operators, administrators and staff members should understand how to respond to these accusations to avoid making the situation worse.
Conduct an investigation
If a patient, a patient’s loved one or staff member reports suspected abuse or neglect, administrators will want to investigate the claim.
This initial investigation can include:
- Speaking with the alleged victim and perpetrator and making a report
- Reviewing medical charts
- Talking to any potential witnesses
- Looking for signs of abuse or neglect
- Viewing surveillance recordings
- Taking photos of any injuries or incident scenes
Facilities should make every effort to look into the claim and document their findings.
When allegations linger without resolution or parties are slow to respond to legal motions or requests, the situation can be more frustrating. Slow responses can also result in costly legal penalties if a party misses a court date or deadline.
Further, a slow response can send the message that a facility is not taking the claim seriously.
…but not too quickly
However, being too quick to respond can also be unwise. In a situation where someone is facing accusations of misconduct, they might lash out in the heat of the moment to defend themselves or they might offer whatever it takes to make a claim go away.
Both of these approaches can mean unnecessary financial losses and long-term consequences for the reputation and rating of a facility.
And get legal guidance
Any time someone accuses a medical professional or care facility of neglect or abuse, their livelihood and licensing can be on the line. Working with a legal representative can help these parties protect themselves and defend against unfair allegations and penalties.
When parties have the knowledge and support to respond to nursing home malpractice appropriately, they can be well-positioned to minimize the fallout of these unfortunate situations.