Residents, relatives, friends, and our own attorneys often have common questions when hearing about nursing home abuse or neglect. We all want to know about the rest of the nursing staff—the ones who did not directly commit the abuse. Why didn’t they speak up and protect the resident that was being hurt? What should they have done?
Nursing Home Staff Should Have Taken These Four Steps
The nursing home had a legal obligation to take action if it suspected that a resident was being abused or neglected in the facility. The Wisconsin Caregiver Law requires nursing home personnel, among others, to take specific actions if abuse, neglect, or misappropriation is suspected. Specifically, nursing home staff members are required to…
- Immediately protect the resident from further abuse, neglect, misappropriation or other harm.
- Conduct an investigation.
- Document how the investigation was conducted and the findings of the investigation.
- Report the findings of the allegations to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division of Quality Assurance (DQA). If the allegations include wrongdoing by nursing home staff, then the report must be an official Misconduct Incident Report (F-62447).
Nursing home staff may see evidence of abuse or neglect before family members, doctors, or other visitors. Thus, these provisions are meant to provide security for nursing home residents by requiring that nursing home staff report the misconduct they see from their colleagues and other staff members.
However, More May Need to Be Done
Regardless of whether the nursing home follows the guidelines outlined above, you may need to take additional action if it was your loved one who was abused or neglected in a Wisconsin nursing home. You may need to pursue legal action so that you can get your loved one or your family the legal and financial recoveries that they deserve. For more information about how to do that, please start a free, confidential, no-obligation chat with us today.