Elderly Lives Matter®

Some nursing homes underreport patient injuries

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Assisted Living Facility Abuse and Neglect

Florida is a state known for its relatively high population of senior citizens. With this state being a popular place for elderly people, it’s no surprise that some residents get the care they require by living in nursing homes. However, recent research shows that some nursing homes are underreporting some of the more serious patient injuries.

The details behind this new study

Prachi Sanghavi, Ph.D., from the University of Chicago, is the author behind a new study involving underreporting in nursing homes. This study specifically wanted to discover the extensiveness of underreporting and what made facilities underreport. This study utilized hospitalization data involving Medicare beneficiaries from 2011 to 2017.

Underreporting bedsores

Nursing homes must follow measures to keep their patients healthy and safe. Keeping patients safe involves watching for injuries common among nursing home residents. Since residents spend a considerable portion of time in bed, nursing home staff must prevent patients from getting bedsores.

Of the over 13,000 nursing homes in this study’s sample, only 67.7% of care facilities reported patients suffering from bedsores. This study also found that many nursing homes underreport patient falls, with no reports made for about 40% of major injury patient falls.

This study also found that instances of underreporting can vary based on ethnic and racial factors. For example, nursing homes with higher fall reporting rates typically had a larger population of white residents. Nursing homes with higher rates of reporting bedsores typically held fewer caucasian patients.

It’s always wise to closely watch any loved ones in nursing homes. If these residents have new or unexplained cuts, scrapes or bruises, these could be signs of nursing home neglect.

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