Oklahoma Nursing Home Administrators Face Public Scrutiny

Oklahoma is certainly taking Health Facility Administrator licensing seriously by implementing a public complaint system on their Board of Examiners website. This system gives John Q. Public the opportunity to submit a complaint online by completing a seven question form.

Against the Administrator, not the facility.

From there you can search for any Administrator's name in the state and review all complaints that have been lodged against them, regardless of their merit or investigative conclusion. After searching, I had a difficult time finding an Administrator with action taken against their license. Many cases are label as "dismissed." One case even includes the comment "letter of commendation sent to Administrator."

The complaints themselves range from very broad (allegations of general unprofessionalism) to specific (Administrator misappropriated $17, 143.29 from a resident trust account) to clinical (Administrator failed to ensure that facility used proper medical equipment for certain diagnosis). There are many concerns related to abuse reporting and ill-advised hiring decisions. Most Oklahoma Administrators do not have any complaints logged on the site at the present.

As I have stated before, there are Administrators that have chosen the wrong profession, to put it nicely. I fully support mechanisms for reporting deficient practices in our facilities. But by supporting methods other than State and/or Attorney General reporting of consumer concerns, Administrators in Oklahoma are now being forced to spend more time than ever on the defensive, concerned that any single professional or personal action they take could result in a complete investigation of their practice, aptitude, and character. States such as Oklahoma should focus their consumer education on what to look for when choosing a nursing home, how to use the nursing home compare tools at www.medicare.gov, or how to contact state agencies when they feel there are seriously deficient practices occurring.

Leave it up to professional surveyors to determine who is at fault.

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