Why the Standard of Care Matters in Chicago Nursing Home Care

4416(3)To function as a nursing home in the State of Illinois, facilities must comply with both state and federal laws and regulations governing them. They must also adhere to strict standards governing the care and treatment of patients and must be licensed as a nursing home. Many people do not realize what standards should exist, what rules should be followed, and what level of care provided when they are making the decision to place their loved ones in a long term care facility, mistakenly believing that all nursing homes are the same.

Unfortunately, a wide range of care is given at nursing homes and it is up to patients and their loved ones to select a home that will best meet their needs. For that reason, it is important to understand industry standards and why they matter when it comes to care provided in Chicago.

Nursing homes are not free to make decisions in a vacuum. Instead, they must comply with the standard of care, which is the level at which the average, prudent facility in a given community would function. This means that nursing homes, their employees, owners, and others associated with these facilities must always act in a reasonable manner and comply with the standard of care for the tasks they perform or risk violating that standard.

Violating the standard of care can be used as evidence of nursing home abuse or neglect, a type of incident where a nursing home is harmed or not cared for properly, potentially leading to physical harm or the worsening of medical conditions. Some instances can spurn emotional harm or other non-physical damages as well.

A standard of care can exist and apply in almost any aspect of nursing care provided in a home. This may include dressing wounds, assisting with mobility, transferring patients from one area to another, seeking outside medical care, bathing, feeding, and even administering medications. These standards exist because the majority of providers with experience in medical fields have determined the standards are in the best interest of patients which further suggests that deviating from the standards may be cause for alarm.

Often, it is the family of a patient or the loved ones of a resident who may notice problems with the care being given. These individuals may inquire about care provided or a lack of care shown and attempt to resolve any issues on their own. But it can be difficult for an average person with no background in medicine to know what the standard of care is, let alone whether it was violated.

The State of Illinois regularly inspects licensed nursing homes as well as other long-term care facilities and notes deficiencies when they are identified. Homes may face a range of sanctions for these acts of misconduct ranging from citations to fines to even the loss of a license. However, the biggest fallout may happen if nursing home neglect caused a resident to be injured or otherwise to suffer as it may entitle that resident to seek legal relief for her harm.

Through the use of a civil claim for damages, an injured nursing home victim and/or that victim’s family members may be entitled to compensation for the injuries sustained, including any medical expenses that had to be incurred and any pain and suffering that resulted from the act. If you have questions about your legal rights, call the personal injury lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. and let us help you understand the laws here and how they may apply to you. We offer a case consultation without cost or obligation to all victims who contact us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 where we keep a licensed attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you need help or if you have questions, call Abels & Annes, P.C. today.

Prior Blog Entry:

New Patients are Bringing Superbugs into Illinois Nursing Homes, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published March 22, 2016.