Nursing Homes have a Duty to Notify Physician and Legal Representative of Changes in Condition
Nursing Homes have a Duty to Notify Physician and Legal Representative of Changes in Condition

Notification of Changes Who Must be Informed

Notification of Changes. One of the main reasons a person lives in a nursing home, assisted living or other elder care facility is that when there is a changes in the resident’s condition.  Time is of the essence in these situations.  The nursing home has a duty of notification of changes in condition, to doctor, family, legal representative. Changes in condition can be a urinary tract infection, a fall, a trauma, sudden confusion, sudden lack of mobility, changes in eating or drinking habits, weight loss, stroke like symptoms, infections, wounds, and more.

The nursing home needs to respond to all changes in condition and have a qualified professional assess the needs and condition of the resident.  If there is not a qualified nurse or other fact specific medical professional available to make an assessment of the change of condition of the resident, call 911. Many times the facility does not cause the underlying injury or medical condition but causes substantial harm sometimes causing death by not providing an appropriate response to changes in the resident’s condition. §483.10   Resident rights.

The resident has a right to a dignified existence, self-determination, and communication with and access to persons and services inside and outside the facility. A facility must protect and promote the rights of each resident, including each of the following rights: (a) Exercise of rights. (b) (11) Notification of changes. (i) A facility must immediately inform the resident; consult with the resident’s physician; and if known, notify the resident’s legal representative or an interested family member when there is

(A) An accident involving the resident which results in injury and has the potential for requiring physician intervention;

(B) A significant change in the resident’s physical, mental, or psychosocial status (i.e., a deterioration in health, mental, or psychosocial status in either life-threatening conditions or clinical complications); (C) A need to alter treatment significantly (i.e., a need to discontinue an existing form of treatment due to adverse consequences, or to commence a new form of treatment); or (D) A decision to transfer or discharge the resident from the facility as specified in §483.12(a). The facility must also promptly notify the resident and, if known, the resident’s legal representative or interested family member when there is— (A) A change in room or roommate assignment as specified in §483.15(e)(2); or (B) A change in resident rights under Federal or State law or regulations as specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. (iii) The facility must record and periodically update the address and phone number of the resident’s legal representative or interested family member.

If you have any questions or concerns about resident care or changes in condition, call Attorney Ken LaBore at 612-743-9048.

Notification of Changes in Condition