What are some signs of Failure to Follow Physician’s Orders?
Failure to follow physician’s orders may occur when a caregiver ignores a doctor’s order and gives a resident the wrong kind of food or medication, fails to give a resident medication after ordered by a physician, or otherwise fails to follow the doctor’s orders in caring for a resident.
Failure to follow physician’s orders may result in illness, injury, and even death.
By state law, nursing homes are required to provide residents with access to a physician, and are responsible for ensuring the physician makes regular visits and supervises care of the resident. However, through negligence or abuse, nursing home caregivers sometimes ignore the doctor’s orders for a resident, and in doing so, violate the legal duty they owe towards residents of the nursing home.
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.
What should I do if I suspect my loved one has been a victim of Failure to Follow Physician’s Orders?
If you suspect your loved one has been a victim of failure to follow physician’s orders, you should first seek medical help for your loved one, if possible. Negligence in caring for a nursing home resident contributes to damaged health and wellbeing, pain and suffering, and sometimes fatality. For this reason, it’s crucial to first get your loved one the help they need.
You may also wish to confront the nursing home or caregiver responsible for your loved one’s care and find out, as best you can, if they ignored orders from a doctor in administering care to your loved one.
Next, contact a lawyer to get a consultation regarding your loved one’s case. If nursing home negligence 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.
What should a nursing home do to prevent Failure to Follow Physician’s Orders?
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.
Can the nursing home be held responsible for Failure to Follow Physician’s Orders?
A nursing home can be held responsible for failure to follow physician’s orders. 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 is simply no excuse for failing to follow a physician’s orders, especially when the consequences for nursing home residents can be so severe. A nursing home that fails to follow a physician’s orders in caring for a resident may be guilty of neglect under the law. If this is the case, the nursing home will be held responsible for covering the cost of any expenses, such as medical bills, related to the act of negligence, and for compensating the resident or the resident’s family for any pain, suffering, and loss related to the incident. To find out if you can receive money in damages for nursing home negligence, contact one of our Georgia nursing home neglect lawyers to receive a consultation.
Why does Failure to Follow Physician’s Orders occur in nursing homes?
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.