Alden Lincoln Park Rehab releases COVID-19 statistics showing 69 COVID infections and 9 deaths. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19
On June 8, 2020, Alden Lincoln Park Rehab, located in Chicago, Illinois, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases. These statics confirm that 69 infections and 9 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Illinois Department of Public Health conducts yearly recertification procedures in which nursing homes are subjected to a review of their regulatory history and any violations occurring at the home. Furthermore, during the recertification process, when a nursing home has been found to have committed a regulatory violation, the facility is subsequently required to submit a plan of correction for how it will remedy the violation or prevent similar violations from occurring in the future.
The 2016 recertification survey, conducted on October 27, 2016, found Alden Lincoln Park Rehab failed to provide assistance to a resident in need of incontinent care and personal hygiene within a reasonable amount of time. Specifically, one resident was found to have not been changed or cared for in the required amount of time and was subsequently observed to be soiled and soaked. Other findings connected to this failure include residents being observed with having fingernails that were long and contained a caked brownish substance underneath them; and two other residents claiming to have been given a shower only once a week and once a month respectively. Moreover, the facility: failed to ensure refrigerated milk was dated when opened; failed to ensure oven trays were free of accumulated grease and grime; and failed to follow their policy in regard to hand washing during food preparation.
The survey explains these failures have the potential to affect all 84 residents who receive oral diets from the facility’s kitchen. Failures of this nature are particularly concerning within the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, as issues regarding hand washing and sanitation in general are at the forefront of the fight against the deadly virus. Lastly, the 2016 recertification survey found Alden Lincoln Park Rehab to have failed to ensure staff members were knowledgeable regarding emergency preparedness, because of this failure staff were not able to sufficiently articulate the acronym for RACE/PASS when interviewed for this survey. The survey explained this lack of knowledge and preparation has the potential to affect all 87 residents living in the facility, a further example of how the failures on the part of Alden Lincoln Park Rehab can have a widespread and profound impact on the residents of the facility.
The 2017 recertification survey, conducted on August 24, 2017, found Alden Lincoln Park Rehab failed to provide wound care as prescribed by a physician and further failed to implement a plan of care with pressure ulcer intervention or prevent or reduce the risk of developing a facility acquired pressure ulcer. The survey continues that this specific failure caused on resident to develop a Stage 3 pressure ulcer on the right elbow and an Unstageable pressure ulcer on the left elbow. Furthermore, the facility failed to follow a physician’s orders regarding the use of a catheter for a particular resident and to reduce that resident’s risk of developing a urinary tract infection (UTI). This failure resulted in that resident sustaining and suffering from a UTI. The 2017 recertification survey also found Alden Lincoln Park Rehab failed to maintain a clean and safe environment and follow the facility maintenance schedule for all the facility’s nursing units. Specifically, shower rooms were observed to have black spots on the walls and floors, and also appeared to have chipped and disfigured tiles all over the rooms and entrance into the showers.
The 2018 recertification survey, conducted on September 26, 2018, found Alden Lincoln Park Rehab failed to document in a certain resident’s medical record that the Ombudsman was notified of the resident’s transfer to the hospital. The survey continues that a failure of this nature has the potential to affect all 88 residents in the facility. Similar to the occurrence detailed in the 2016 recertification survey, the 2018 recertification survey found Alden Lincoln Park Rehab to have failed to ensure residents were shaved, fingernails were cleaned and trimmed, and their hair was groomed.
All these residents had activities with daily living care plans that provided assistance for these particular activities, however the record provides several examples in which the staff failed to perform jobs as was prescribed by the pertinent ADLs. These residents were observed as having long and overgrown fingernails and an overall “disheveled” appearance. The fact that a failure of this nature has re-occurred after having been reported back in 2016, demonstrates Alden Lincoln Park Rehab’s inability to implement and follow their plans of correction as the facility has clearly not figured out how to consistently maintain resident’s hygiene and perform the requisite ADL plans.
The 2019 recertification survey, conducted on August 28, 2019, found Alden Lincoln Park Rehab failed to ensure staff provided residents who resided in the Dementia unit with the appropriately modified diet pursuant to physician’s orders and facility policy. Additionally, the facility failed to recognize signs that a resident was an unsafe smoker and failed to ensure that staff were able to correctly identify where safety devices for smoking were stored for this particular resident. Moreover, the facility failed to maintain safeguards and system in place to control, account for, and periodically reconcile controlled medications to prevent loss, diversion, or accidental exposure. The survey provides that these failures have the potential to affect all residents residing on the first floor.
Lastly, and most importantly within the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alden Lincoln Park Rehab was found to have failed to practice appropriate hand hygiene during food preparation, which was noted by the survey to have the potential to affect 85 residents. Specific findings include one staff member wearing the same pair of gloves during food preparation when the facility policy required the gloves be changed when engaging in such activities. Another instance involved a staff member not washing their hands or changing their gloves after touching refrigerator door handles. It is these kinds of failures that are particularly alarming during the current COVID-19 pandemic, as failing to adequately and sufficiently wash hands is the exact way in which this deadly virus spreads.
Founding partner Steven M. Levin described these outbreaks in many Illinois Nursing Homes: “for many years prior to this outbreak, Alden Lincoln Park Rehab operated with insufficient staff and with a lack of adherence to recognized infection control protocols. It is not surprising that they were ill equipped to handle this outbreak.”
Levin & Perconti: Chicago Attorneys at Law
As experienced advocates for long-term care residents and their families, our firm is ready to help ensure that your loved ones stay safe and healthy during this unprecedented time. Please use our resources to help you stay connected and know that if you find yourself concerned about a resident’s well-being, you can call us at 312-332-2872 or toll-free at 877-374-1417 to request our help during a free consultation.
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As COVID-19 continues to spread, it has also magnified systemic breakdowns within Illinois’ long-term care facilities, nursing homes, or assisted living centers. After this latest release of reported data by IDPH, more than half of the COVID-19-related fatalities in Illinois have now occurred at these facilities.