The size of the award may be reduced as the article sates and one of their facilities imagein northern California was found negligent and short handed on staff with not meeting the guidelines and rules as set in California.  The company operates 22 nursing facilities in the state.

The award in court was $95 million after a patient was dropped during a bed transfer fracturing her hip and shoulder.  Two attendants should be been making the transfer and not one was the findings of the jury.  Recent news also indicated the company insurance has run dry or there was inadequate coverage for events as such.

Skilled Healthcare Fined $671 Million for Damages in Violating State Health and Safety Codes in California – Amount Beyond Their Credit Capabilities of $94 Million and Insurance Coverage

Nursing homes and long term facilities with cut backs will need to also invest in imagetechnology for help in these areas such as this facility that uses a patient lift system, could have possibly prevented this situation.  Wonder if they have bought any since the incident?

Eden Medical Center uses patient lift system

There are also sensors that could be beneficial as with staffing running short or busy this could help.  Running lean requires technology assistance. 

Hospitals to Test Bed Sensors – a “Smart Hospital Bed”

As current economic times are tough, companies will need to look for methodologies that will work in nursing homes too.  This is sad story indeed and a reminder that nursing home care is important and should not be neglected for the sake of profit earnings on the open market as Skilled Healthcare is actively traded.  BD

SAN FRANCISCO — During Cindy Cool's almost daily visits to the nursing home, she would routinely find her Alzheimer's-suffering father wearing urine-soaked clothes.

The Blue Lake, Calif. resident said it would take upwards of 20 minutes for the apparently short-handed staff of Eureka Healthcare and Rehabilitation to respond and help Cool clean her father. Other patients fared worse, she said.

"A lot of times I walked out of there crying because of the things I saw," Cool said an interview.

She provided key testimony before a Humboldt County jury last month slammed the owners of her father's nursing home with a $677 million verdict, sending shock waves through the industry and rekindling calls for tort reform.

The Associated Press: Huge verdict shakes up nursing home industry


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