Yes. A nursing home can be held responsible for failure to follow physician’s orders.
A nursing home that fails to follow a physician’s orders may be liable for neglect. In fact, thousands of lawsuits are filed every year due to injuries resulting in this type of negligence.
In a case involving failure to follow physician’s order, the resident or resident’s family may be awarded damages for medical bills, funeral expenses, wrongful death, as well as pain and suffering.
There is simply no excuse for failing to follow a physician’s orders, especially when the consequences for nursing home residents can be so severe.
If you’re wondering if you’re entitled to damages for nursing home negligence, feel free to call one of our experienced Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers for a consultation.
Orders are not just for prescriptions and medications. Orders encompass all types of critical care. For example, pressure ulcer care or trach tube cleaning. That’s why it is important for orders to be accurate, accessible, and followed.
Orders for nursing home residents are issued for the same reasons as the general public. These are the most common:
At all times, your primary focus should be to make sure your loved one receives proper medical treatment. Negligence in caring for a nursing home resident contributes to damaged health and wellbeing, pain and suffering, and sometimes death. If that means calling 9-1-1 to get them out of the facility, so be it.
But, if your loved one is currently in a stable condition and you suspect that the nursing home has intentionally or negligently failed to follow the physician’s orders, here are some action items:
Under Georgia state law, a nursing home is required to provide residents with adequate care based on their individual needs. Nursing homes are also required to have physicians available at all times to attend to residents’ needs, and to consult with physicians regarding care for nursing home residents.
There are no set times in which new physician’s orders may be prescribed. However, here are the most common times:
Failing to follow physician’s orders can result in all types of injuries. This means there are potentially an infinite number of symptoms. However, here are some common signs of negligence:
Failure to follow a physician’s orders may bring serious consequences. If you believe nursing home staff or caregivers have neglected to follow the physician’s orders in caring for your loved one, you should take action immediately in order to minimize the damage and prevent further injury to your loved one.
Failure to follow physician’s orders may occur in nursing homes that are understaffed, or in nursing homes where staff are inexperienced or uneducated. When there are not enough staff to care for all of a nursing home’s residents, caregivers tend to be overworked and neglectful – either intentionally or unintentionally. An overworked caregiver may forget about a physician’s orders for a certain resident, or they may ignore the orders simply to save time or effort.
Failure to follow physician’s orders may also occur when nursing homes have a high staff turnover or employ multiple caregivers in treating one resident. If a caregiver has not previously cared for a certain resident, they may be unaware of the doctor’s instructions, and the previous caregiver or nursing home supervisor may have neglected to inform them.
Other times, nursing home staff are simply negligent and may purposefully ignore a physician’s orders in treating a certain patient. A caregiver may try to make things more convenient on him or herself by ignoring a doctor’s orders, or may intentionally abuse a resident by failing to provide needed care.
To prevent failure to follow physician’s orders, nursing homes should pay careful attention to the doctor’s instructions regarding each nursing home resident, and then follow those instructions in caring for residents.
Nursing home supervisors should make sure caregivers and staff are aware of the physician’s orders and follow them closely. If a supervisor suspects that a caregiver has failed to follow the physician’s orders, the supervisor should step in immediately. Additionally, nursing homes should impress upon their employees the importance of following doctor’s orders in caring for residents, and the severe consequences of failing to follow those orders.
Nursing homes should always maintain a sufficient number of staff to ensure residents are not neglected, and they should screen all prospective employees thoroughly before hiring them.
Supervisors should also make sure caregivers who are aware of the physician’s orders for a certain resident continue to care consistently for that resident. Frequent, random changes in staffing or in caregivers’ responsibilities may contribute to failure to follow physician’s orders, since new caregivers may be unaware of the doctor’s instructions regarding that resident.
Contact a lawyer to get a consultation regarding your loved one’s case. If failure to follow physician’s orders in a Georgia nursing home has caused your loved one harm, suffering, or death, you may be able to file a claim against the nursing home and receive compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering, as well as for any related medical bills. In case of your loved one’s death, the nursing home may also be required to compensate you or your family for your loss.