Understaffed Nursing Homes Lead to Poor Patient Outcomes
There is no doubt that understaffed nursing homes lead to poor patient outcomes, and Florida nursing homes are more understaffed than in other states. When you placed your loved one in a nursing home, you trusted that facility to provide adequate care in a way that you could not yourself.
This cannot be done if the nursing home is understaffed. There are a number of potential consequences of understaffed nursing homes, and such nursing home neglect can and should be compensated through an elder abuse claim. Contact us today for a free consultation, or keep reading for more information.
What are the Dangers of Understaffed Nursing Homes?
A paper published in Health Service Insights sought to establish the optimal number of nursing hours per resident per day in nursing homes. In their study, they found that understaffing in nursing homes leads to poor patient outcomes.
The dangers of understaffed nursing homes include:
- Pressure ulcers (bed sores)
- Medication errors
- New infections
- IVs running dry or leaking
- Patient falls
Another danger of understaffing in nursing homes is poor patient safety culture. This refers to the fact that patients interact with one another in unpredictable ways, especially patients with dementia. Patients cannot be safe or feel safe when other patients are wandering into other patient rooms.
Are Florida Nursing Homes More Understaffed Than Other States?
The AARP reported in June 2023 that Florida nursing homes are among the most understaffed in the country. This is because Florida passed a law reducing the required number of CNA hours to 2 hours per resident per day during the pandemic. This was done to keep nursing homes open in light of staffing shortages, but the result has been devastating.
According to the paper in Health Service Insights, the average number of CNA hours per resident per day in the US was 2.33 hours in 2019. Furthermore, a 2001 study found that a minimum of 2.8 CNA hours per resident per day was necessary to avoid patient harm.
Are Nursing Homes Liable for Injury or Neglect Due to Understaffing?
Nursing homes are liable when patients are neglected or harmed due to staffing shortages. Nursing home staff has a responsibility to ensure that patient needs are met, that patients are safe, and that patients who need supervision are receiving it.
Nursing homes are liable for:
- The actions or inactions of their employees while they are performing the duties associated with their position.
- Hiring top-quality workers in appropriate numbers.
- Supervising those workers closely to ensure they are meeting the needs of patients.
It is important to check the staffing policies of nursing homes when choosing a facility for your loved one, but many people are unaware of these issues until it is too late. In those cases, the law allows families to hold nursing homes liable for the injury, neglect, or death of their loved one.
Has Your Loved One Been Injured in a Nursing Home?
If your loved one has been injured or neglected in a nursing home and understaffing could be the cause, you could be entitled to compensation. Florida law allows you to hold the nursing home liable and get compensation for your loved one’s injuries.
Steve Watrel has been representing clients in elder abuse and nursing home neglect cases for many years, and we are not afraid to go to trial to ensure the best outcomes. Contact us today for a free consultation.