Symphony of Lincoln Park releases COVID-19 statistics showing 170 COVID infections and 22 deaths. Levin & Perconti, Illinois nursing home lawyers launch investigation into gross negligence in preventing the spread of COVID-19
On June 4, 2020, Symphony of Lincoln Park, located in Chicago, Illinois, released long term care outbreak data reporting of laboratory confirmed COVID-19 outbreak cases. These statics confirm that 170 infections and 22 deaths have occurred at the facility during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Based on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Quarterly Reports of Nursing Home Violations, Symphony of Lincoln Park was found to be in violation of several policies and procedures prescribed by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
In Quarter 4 of 2016 (October – December) a survey conducted on August 18. 2016, found Symphony of Lincoln Park to have committed a Type B violation, including sections of the Code: 300.1210(1)(2), 300.7060(a), 300.2100, 300.696(c). Specifically, the facility failed to administer medications according to physician orders and failed to ensure that staff administer medications prior to signing that the medications were administered. Moreover, Symphony of Lincoln Park failed to ensure that expired medications were disposed of according to facility policy, and further failed to assure the physical environment in the Certified Dementia Unit was maintained in a safe and sanitary manner related to improper food storage and storage of certain chemicals.
In Quarter 1 of 2017 (January – March) a survey conducted on November 29, 2016 found Symphony of Lincoln Park to have committed a Type B violation, including sections of the Code: 300.1210(b), 300.1210(d)(1), 300.1210(d)(2), 300.1620(a), and 300.3240(a). Specifically, the facility failed to monitor anticoagulation medication according to manufactures guidelines for the initial use of the medication in which one resident with documented complications did not receive the necessary therapeutic care for these ailments.
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.
On March 11, 2020, a complaint investigation survey found Symphony of Lincoln Park was found to have failed to ensure correct administration of medications for two residents resulting in one resident being hospitalized in the emergency care unit for close monitoring. Another similar incident was documented in a complaint investigation survey conducted on October 4, 2019, in which the facility failed to ensure that residents were administered the proper medication.
The 2016 recertification survey conducted on March 10, 2016, found Symphony of Lincoln Park failed to ensure that the facility policy on self-administration of medications and treatments was followed, and further failed to ensure medications were safely stored and secured. Additionally, the survey found the facility failed to maintain infection control practices with glove use during incontinence care. Specifically detailing an occurrence in which staff members used dirty gloves to open a door and exit a room after administering incontinence care and did not properly wash their hands nor dispose of the gloves in the proper manner. The facility policy calls on staff who engage in such activities to immediately dispose of their unsanitary equipment and wash their hands following the administering of incontinence care.
The 2017 recertification survey conducted on April 12, 2017, found Symphony of Lincoln Park failed to assess the appropriateness of a resident to self-administer medication, and failed to get a physician order for the self-administered medication in question. Furthermore, the facility was found to have failed in its obligation to provide care for dependent residents and assist in the requisite activities of daily living. Specifically, the survey details an occurrence in which a female resident, who had a fractured clavicle, had visible facial hair growing on her chin.
Several other failures cited in the recertification survey include: failure to follow the facility policy and procedure relating to flushing of feeding tubes before medication administration; failure to implement care plans and fall interventions for residents designated as high fall risks; and failure to administer medications as ordered by a physician. Lastly, and most importantly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, Symphony of Lincoln Park failed to follow its policy on handwashing and failed to properly sanitize kitchen appliances and equipment. Documenting instances in which staff members handled and served food to residents with their bare hands and without washing or sanitizing them.
The 2018 recertification conducted on February 8, 2018, found Symphony of Lincoln Park failed to provide activities of daily living in a timely manner, similar to the failure documented back in the 2017 recertification survey. Additionally, the facility was found to have failed to maintain the cleanliness of kitchen equipment; failed to ensure sanitizing solution was at sufficient concentration levels; and failed to use hair restraints and gloves while in the facility kitchen. Thus, another repeated failure as the 2017 recertification survey found failures of the same nature. This repeated failure demonstrates the facility’s inability to abide by or implement its plan of correction as the same failures continue to occur.
The 2019 recertification survey conducted on March 22, 2019, found Symphony of Lincoln Park failed to provide intravenous fluids as ordered by a physician, and further failed to follow their policy for labeling infusions. Moreover, the facility was found to have failed to ensure hand hygiene was properly performed during observation procedures and during medication administration.
The record further provides that the facility failed to monitor staff and contractors for compliance with its policy regarding the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and also failed to ensure the use of appropriate disinfectant wipes to clean frequently touched surfaces such as bedrails, bedside tables, and other equipment within close proximity of resident’s living quarters. These specific failures are extremely relevant in the current context of the COVID-19 pandemic as this survey brings to light the facility’s inability to provide a consistently sanitary environment. Neither providing PPE to staff, nor sufficiently disinfecting frequently touched areas within the facility, are the exact failures that have led to the explosion in the transmission of COVID-19 throughout the world.
Founding partner Steven M. Levin described these outbreaks in many Illinois Nursing Homes: “for many years prior to this outbreak, Symphony of Lincoln Park 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 Nursing Home Negligence Attorneys at Law
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