State investigation shows disturbing reports of abuse, neglect at Post Falls nursing home

Update: 1:00 p.m.

POST FALLS, Idaho - Following documentation of state and federal investigations into its facility, Life Care Center has issued the following statement:

"At Life Care Center of Post Falls, residents are our highest priority.

In October and November 2019, our facility had a visit from state surveyors, and we received notification of several deficiencies. We immediately began re-examining processes and asking ourselves how we can use this opportunity to make our resident experience more positive. We have implemented numerous systems to ensure quality care remains our focus, including daily manager rounds, a new orientation program for new hires and a change in the dining program. All changes were made with a focus on safety and comfort.

Our plan of correction was submitted in December, and we’re currently awaiting a re-visit from the state survey team to ensure our changes exceed their expectations. We consider ourselves partners with the state survey agency, and we continue to work in cooperation with them while focusing on providing compassionate healthcare services to our residents."

Previous Coverage:

POST FALLS, Idaho - KHQ has uncovered documentation of state and federal investigations into a Post Falls nursing home that detail disturbing findings.

According to the report, patients' lives at Life Care Center Post Falls were at risk, the care was inadequate, and the corrective action was sporadic. An Idaho Department of Health and Welfare report describes some of the violations. The investigation, dated November 8, 2019, mostly covers a three month period, from August 2019 to November 2019.

In one instance, on November 1 2019, a patient was "actively dying and receiving hospice services." The patient's family received a call that night, at 9:30pm to say "he took a turn for the worse." However, hospice notes, reviewed by state investigators, later found that he was dead several hours before that call was made and "there was not documentation in Resident #180's record the facility notified his primary care physician of his death."

Another investigation showed that the facility did not have proper incontinence briefs for a patient, and to fix the issue, staff at Life Care Center taped two incontinence briefs together.

In another investigation, state investigators say a patient did not receive antibiotic medication for days, because nurse's thought they were out of the medication, but that was not actually the case. An investigation showed nurse's mistakenly said a left foot injury was on the right foot, which impacted care as well.

According to the state document, another patient appeared to be having a heart attack. The on duty nurse went to call for help, but did not know how the overhead paging system worked. Care for that patient, the documents say, was not prompt, and may have contributed to the patient's death.

In late October the investigation shows an RN "removed the PICC (a catheter) from the wrong resident."

The investigation showed that among these serious issues, patients also complained they were not being showered regularly, which led to other hygiene issues including minor wounds that ended up becoming very serious, and potentially life threatening. In one instance, the investigation shows that a surgery "could have been prevented if the nurses were following the surgeon's wound care orders for daily dressing changes and followed infection control precautions."

KHQ reached out to the executive director at Life Care Center, who told us the corporate office is working on an official statement. Stay with us as this story will be updated as new information will be added as we get it.

Read the Full Document HERE.