State health inspectors detect more than 30 medical errors at Wisconsin Veterans Home

Inspectors with the Wisconsin Department of Health detected 38 medical errors at the Wisconsin Veterans Home at King during a review of the facility, according to The Capital Times.

Gov. Scott Walker (R) reviewed the order after a Cap Times investigation in August revealed employee concerns regarding the safety conditions and quality of care at the state-run home. State inspectors issued 14 citations to the nursing home on behalf of the federal government. In addition to the 38 medical errors and other quality violations, more than 70 instances of food safety violations were detected.

Medical errors detected at the facility include residents being administered the wrong medication, incorrect dosages or never receiving needed medicine. In one identified incident, a resident received 100 units of insulin when only 12 were needed. This error and others were attributable to mistakes made with the nursing home's new software. The licensed practical nurse who committed the error informed inspectors that she had gone on vacation just after being trained on the new system. When she returned, she told inspectors her supervisor informed her she did not have to receive additional training and could just "wing it."

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Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs did not immediately respond to the Cap Times for comment, but have maintained the concerns regarding the quality of care at the King facility are unsubstantiated.

In September, John Scocos, Secretary of Wisconsin's Department of Veterans Affairs, disputed employee accounts referenced by the Cap Times, citing four- and five-star ratings from CMS as evidence of the facility's safety.

"These entities have said that our homes are among the best in the country ... if issues arise during these inspections, corrective action plans are put into place urgently so that we may make the improvements," Sec. Scocos told the Joint Legislative Audit Committee in September, according to Cap Times. "We are still the very best in the country."

Correction plans for the facility will reportedly include a three-month audit of medication errors and a software retrain for nurses and aids.

To read the full Cap Times report, click here.

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