Any of the following incidents mentioned below are grounds for an investigation to be conducted, and it should be done so in a thorough and timely manner.
- Injuries of unknown source
- Personal and/or financial exploitation
- Misappropriation of resident property
Getting into the Investigation Process
According to the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, there are two goals that need to be accomplished when a facility or staff member has been accused of misconduct and that is:
- Determine what occurred and,
- What changes can be put into place to prevent a reoccurrence of the same incident.
Some of the critical components of these investigations include:
The objective of the investigation, which is to determine whether or not abuse or neglect did in fact occur, the timeliness of the initiation of the investigation, and the thoroughness of the investigation. Those who are placed in charge of completing it should be following principles and procedures that have been devised and they should begin as soon as possible.
Objectivity of the Investigator
One of the most important factors in the investigation is the stance of the investigator. Because this is your loved one we are talking about and the person who has been assigned with the role of being the investigator works within the facility, you need to be certain that they look at the incident fairly and without bias as this could affect the overall outcome of the investigation.
The Timeliness of the Investigation
It’s one thing to believe your family member has been harmed, but it is another to have to wait a significant period of time for a thorough investigation to be completed. Because you shouldn’t have to wait, the nursing home facility is expected to follow through on their end and begin immediately. Any delay could result in lost or altered information that could be valuable to your case. And if you are currently struggling with this right now, our skilled Washington nursing home abuse lawyers can in fact help you with this matter.
Not only will the facility need to assign someone to conduct the investigation who isn’t going to be bias, but they need to be trained and conduct this investigation thoroughly. This may be done in one phase, or two. The first phase must be completed within a 24-hour period when knowledge of the incident has been reported. Should the first phase be unsuccessful in determining a reasonable cause or ruling out neglect or abuse, a second phase will follow.
To read about the second phase on the department’s website, click here.
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