New website brings nursing home violation to forefront - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

New website brings nursing home violation to forefront

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Documents obtained by Channel 3 say inspectors found numerous violations at the Laurelbrook Sanitarium nursing care facility in Dayton.

The 60-page report shows the health care facility didn't notify physicians of patient falls and it revealed improper supervision for accidents that could lead to a serious injury.

This data is available to the public in detailed form thanks to a New York group, ProPublica.Org that says a search tool for nursing homes was long overdue.

Charles Ornstein with ProPublica says, "You want to make sure the nursing home does not have a high incidence of medication errors. These are the types of things that will show in the report."

The group uses government inspection data and turns it over to the hands of the public so they can be aware of incidents like one report, which shows a student feeding a patient through a medical syringe they are not qualified to use.

Kim Huston's mother is at a facility in Red Bank that scored relatively well.

She says it's an eye-opener for anyone looking for a nursing home.

"Yes it is helpful when you go into it blindly and you don't know where to turn to and have to ask other who have been through this experience to know what to do next."

The website ranks facility care on a scale from the letter "A," being the best to the letter "L," the worst.

Lauralbrook received an "L" rating.

LifeCare director Beecher Hunter says information like this is helpful, yet, there are still flaws.

One being the report only states the violations, and "omits plans of correction and disputed citations."

ProPublica says no method is perfect.

"Mistakes are going to happen in nursing homes. There are things that are going to slop through the cracks from time to time," Ornstein says. "There are a lot of regulations that go into running a nursing home."

Laurelbook Sanitarium did not return our calls.

Visit the ProPublica website for more information.

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