By exposing problems, it will deter Kentucky nursing homes from abusing and neglecting their elderly residents.
Bowling Green, Kentucky (PRWEB) January 31, 2011
By posting Kentucky nursing home inspection results online, the state will help to prevent cases of elder abuse and neglect, Kentucky personal injury attorney J. Marshall Hughes says.
However, the state needs to take more steps to ensure that all of its state’s elderly nursing home residents are living in safe and healthy conditions – free from abuse and neglect, Hughes says.
“I applaud the state for taking the initiative to post these inspection findings on the Internet, where they can be readily available to the public,” says Hughes, whose Kentucky law firm handles elder neglect and abuse cases.
“By exposing problems, it will deter Kentucky nursing homes from abusing and neglecting their elderly residents,” Hughes says. “But we need to continue to follow through on a variety of other measures in order to fix our nursing home system. That includes making improvements to how Kentucky nursing home abuse and neglect cases are reported and investigated.”
The decision to put the nursing home inspection findings online traces back to series of stories on elder abuse and neglect that were published last summer by the Lexington Herald-Leader.
The stories revealed that most of the state’s elder abuse and neglect cases, including cases that involved deaths, hospitalizations, broken bones and amputations, did not result in prosecution.
In response to the stories, the governor’s office ordered the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to review how nursing home abuse and neglect cases are reported and prosecuted.
A report issued in September outlined 20 recommendations for improving the investigative process and for promoting nursing home safety, quality and transparency.
Publishing a nursing home’s deficiencies online in an “easy-to-use format” for the public was one of those recommendations. Hughes says he would like to see other recommendations acted upon as well in the near future.
“There needs to be more mandatory training on elder abuse and neglect issues for nursing home staff. The focus should be on prevention," Hughes says. "Inspectors, police officers and prosecutors need heightened training as well, which is what the report recommended.”
The online nursing home inspection findings cover inspections that were conducted as part of a nursing home’s certification and in response to complaints. In addition to containing the date of inspection and the statement of deficiency, the online reports provide the home’s plan of correction. The facility’s ownership information is also available at the site.
About Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers
Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers, with offices in Bowling Green and Louisville, is dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of Kentucky nursing home abuse and neglect victims, as well as the families who care deeply about their elderly loved ones.
Partners J. Marshall Hughes and Lee Coleman are accomplished injury attorneys and advocates for people who have suffered from nursing home neglect and abuse, as well as auto accidents, brain injury, drug injury, defective products, environmental dangers, fire and burn injury, insurance disputes, motorcycle accidents, premises liability, Social Security disability, stock fraud, truck accident injury, workers’ compensation and wrongful death.
For more information contact Hughes & Coleman Injury Lawyers at (800) 489-6000 or use the firm's online contact form.
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