Health inspections taking place at some of Virginia’s nursing homes turn up deficiencies that can cause great concern for residents’ family members. In one such case, the Virginia Department of Health discovered care issues that reached a “level of actual harm,” as reported by the USA Today News Leader. 

The 112-bed Augusta County nursing home’s inspection report also cited deficiencies that posed “immediate jeopardy to resident health and safety.” 

Virginia nursing home health citations higher than national average  

The average number of nursing home citations in Virginia is 11.3 per year. This is higher than the nationwide average of 7.9 per year. Health and safety inspections resulted in fines totaling $6 million for 22 of Virginia’s 286 nursing home facilities. Five of the state’s nursing homes have demonstrated a “persistent record of poor care.” 

Nature of deficiencies 

As a result of more than 50 health-related deficiencies and 29 proven complaints, the Augusta County nursing home faces over $400,000 in fines. The inspection report issued by the Virginia Department of Health noted that neglect and substandard care caused psychological harm to a resident who stated during an interview that she felt embarrassed and humiliated by the way the facility’s staff treated her. 

A complaint investigation found that an incorrect dosage of an opioid medication resulted in an overnight hospital stay when a resident experienced decreased oxygen saturations and an altered mental state. Another complaint investigation found that essential equipment was not in safe working condition and poorly maintained. Accident hazards and inadequate supervision also led to numerous falls within the facility. 

Potential results of neglect and substandard care 

Severe physical or psychological harm may result when a family member resides in an understaffed or poorly run nursing home. In some cases, neglect or inadequate care may lead to premature death. When visiting family members, it pays to be on the lookout for signs of substandard care or abuse. It may require taking action in the form of a complaint in order to ensure that residents receive the standard of care they deserve.