Medical Errors and Adverse Events in a Nursing Home Setting

A recently published government report from Health and Human Services finds that there are five adverse events that are preventable in nursing homes. Adverse events are defined as those which result from medical care and inflict harm to the patient. The first adverse event concerns appropriate care that is provided in a substandard fashion. The study found that more than half (56%) of all nursing home adverse events arise from such a situation. The next adverse event listed in the report involves inadequate monitoring of the patient. This scenario accounts for more than 1/3 (37%) of adverse events. The final three adverse events are perhaps the most common in nursing homes. These events involve lack of proper treatment, medication errors, and inadequate resident care plans. Many nursing homes are understaffed and the hired staff are usually underpaid and in many instances, not trained properly. We owe better care to our elderly family members and friends. The sad truth is that in many cases, the elderly in nursing homes don’t receive proper or sufficient medical care.

Holly Haines