Texas native Johnnie Esco died after a short stay at a nursing home – a stay that was supposed to be temporary while the woman recovered from a bout of pneumonia. When her family investigated the matter, they were shocked to discover multiple acts of nursing home negligence and fabrications, many of which they believe contributed to their loved one’s death just weeks after being admitted to the adult care facility. Perhaps most shockingly, the family found that the 77-year-old woman’s medical records were forged and fabricated and bungled multiple times, beginning on the first say she arrived.
The family filed a nursing home negligence lawsuit and settled the case for $2.9 million.
When many people think about Texas nursing home negligence, they think about bedsores, filthy conditions, and restrained and malnourished residents. However, nursing home negligence can be much more subtle than that. While residents may look healthy and taken care of, nurses and other nursing home staffers could be putting the life of your loved one at risk by lying on medical charts and skipping vital exams and medications.
In the case of Johnnie Esco, she was often not given medication even though her medical records show that she was, and nurses admitted to “rote charting” – quickly filling out the identical information on a chart to yesterday’s results. These mistakes meant that when Esco’s temperature spiked, no one noticed, and when she didn’t get medications vital to her health, staffers looked the other way. As Esco health deteriorated, the nursing home was too busy and too careless to notice.
How can nursing homes alter charts and medical records?
• Rote charting – nurses fill out medical charts by copying information from the shift before.
• Not charting – nurses and staff simply don’t maintain an accurate or complete log of the patient’s health and treatment.
• Adding information after an incident – nursing homes could go back through medical records after a nursing home neglect case is filed.
• Changing or adding dates – nursing homes add false dates to medical records so they are not found at fault.
• Destroying records – nursing homes may claim that they cannot find records when in actuality they have destroyed damning evidence.
Do you need the assistance of an experienced Dallas nursing home attorney, or would you like to learn more about your loved one’s right as a Texas nursing home resident? We invite you to call us today for more information or download our free guide, Nursing Home Bill Of Rights.