Nursing Home Staffing Shortages Prevent Philadelphia Hospitals from Discharging Patients to Facilities:

The problem of assisted care understaffing came to the fore during January’s omicron COVID-19 surge as Philadelphia hospitals had nowhere to discharge their elderly patients.

In January, staff shortages at nursing homes and home-care companies were among the main issues contributing to an overload of patients in Philadelphia hospitals, says a Philadelphia Inquirer article. Philadelphia-area hospitals were forced to house an accumulation of patients needing nursing-home care when the rapid spread of the omicron variant among nursing home staff worsened the problem of assisted care understaffing in the area’s surrounding nursing homes.

Staffing shortages prevent Philadelphia hospitals from discharging patients which prompted the Pennsylvania Health Care Association, a Harrisburg trade group for nursing homes and other long-term care providers, to propose a strategy for increased nursing home staffing levels. The proposal suggested utilizing the Pennsylvania National Guard and federal resources to boost staffing in understaffed nursing homes with available beds.

January’s COVID-19 surge served to exacerbate an ongoing issue, as assisted care understaffing woes have plagued not only Philadelphia area nursing homes, but also the industry as a whole since before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic. Striving to increase nursing home staffing levels and working to resolve assisted care understaffing is paramount to the effort of ensuring sufficient resident care and preventing nursing home neglect. A case in point is the difficulty of preventing bedsores in nursing home residents when there is a shortage of nurses and nurse aides to help them. Since preventing bedsores essentially requires every bedsore-prone resident to be frequently repositioned in order to reduce long-term pressure against their skin, a nursing home must be able to scale its staff to meet this need. When a facility fails in preventing bedsores, nursing home neglect most likely has occurred.


Keeping Your Loved One Safe

Pennsylvania and New Jersey nursing homes should take every measure to preserve its residents against nursing home neglect or abuse, including providing adequate, quality staffing. Philadelphia/PA and NJ nursing homes are required by law to meet specific health and safety requirements and to provide such care as to secure the physical, mental, and psycho/social well-being of their residents. The development and/or deterioration of bed sores is indicative that nursing home neglect has occurred. Should you have concerns about a Pennsylvania or New Jersey nursing home, or if you suspect neglect, abuse, or fraud has occurred at the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home where your loved one lives, please contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy to discover your legal rights and options.