How Do You Get a Nursing Home Incident Report?

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When the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) conducts a nursing home inspection or investigation, the results are available to the public. Names will be redacted.

Our Greenville nursing home abuse lawyer can help you get a copy of the nursing home’s internal incident report as part of formal legal proceedings. In addition, a patient has the right to a copy of their own medical records. (S.C. Code § 44-7-310, § 44-115-30).

Getting Nursing Home Reports

A nursing home is meant to be a place where residents are safe. When accidents and incidents occur, and someone gets seriously hurt, nursing homes are required by law to create reports. These reports determine underlying causes, hold the nursing home accountable and may help prevent similar accidents in the future.

There are several reasons why you may need a nursing home incident report. Unfortunately, nursing homes aren’t always eager to release reports, especially when the report isn’t favorable to them.

However, there are ways that you can get a nursing home incident report. SCHEC makes some incident records available to the public. In addition, you can request records in the discovery process during formal litigation. A lawyer can help you make the request.

Does the State of South Carolina Have Nursing Home Incident Reporting Requirements?

South Carolina nursing homes must report the following:

  • Suspected abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult
  • Accidents and incidents that result in significant harm
  • Fires and disasters
  • Communicable diseases
  • Animal bites
  • Administrator changes, facility closures
  • Situations where there are zero residents, for any reason

S.C. Code § 43-35-25 requires caregivers, staff, and other interested parties to report abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult. In addition, Regulation 61-17 of the Standards for Licensing Nursing Homes, section 701, requires nursing homes to report serious accidents and incidents that result in death or significant loss of body function.

Nursing homes must report incidents that result in harm, including:

  • Crime
  • Abuse, neglect, exploitation
  • Medication errors
  • Accidents and incidents
  • Cuts, burns, or bleeding
  • Use of restraints
  • Suicide, attempted suicide
  • Fire

These are not events relating to a natural course of illness, care or advancing age.

Who does a nursing home have to notify when there is a serious incident?

When a serious incident results in harm in a nursing home, the nursing home must tell the:

  • Attending physician
  • Family or responsible party
  • The Department

They have 24 hours to make the initial report.

How long does a nursing home have to submit an incident report to South Carolina DHEC?

A nursing home has five days to submit a report to South Carolina DHEC when there is a serious incident or accident. The report must contain the minimum information required by state regulations.

What information does a nursing home incident report contain?

A nursing home incident report must contain:

  • Facility name and license number
  • Nature of accident or incident
  • Cause of accident or incident, investigation results if the cause is unknown
  • Date of occurrence
  • Number of residents injured or affected, their record numbers or last four digits of their Social Security numbers
  • Ages and sex of victims
  • Numbers of staff and visitors affected
  • Witnesses

A nursing home report must also contain a description of the incident, the location where it occurred, and how injuries were treated.

How long does a nursing home have to keep accident and incident records in South Carolina?

A nursing home must keep serious accident and incident records for six years. The time is measured from when the victim stops receiving services. There are regulations for how records must be kept.

Can a Nursing Home Incident Report Help With a Legal Claim?

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a nursing home, there are several ways that a nursing home incident report may assist with your case. If the incident report is specific to the accident that caused the victim’s injuries, it can provide valuable evidence.

Reports to SCHEC must contain specific information that can help you identify witnesses, the cause of the accident, and how negligence may have contributed.

In addition, incident reports may expose systemic practices that may have resulted in an accident. You can use this information to build your case for compensation.

How our lawyer can help

Have you been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect? Has a loved one been harmed living in a nursing home? Bobby Jones Law can help you investigate, including getting copies of incident reports.

Lawyer Robert “Bobby” Jones uses the legal process to get records that may be helpful to your case. A victim of nursing home abuse or neglect may receive financial compensation. Getting incident reports can help you build your case and claim compensation.

To talk to a nursing home abuse lawyer, contact us at Bobby Jones Law today.

The team at Bobby Jones Law LLC works tirelessly for the injured in South Carolina. His achievements include:
  • More than $60 million collected for our clients
  • Multiple recoveries exceeding $1 million, including an eight-figure settlement
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in America
  • Named among the “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News & World Report
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  • Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Selected as Legal Elite of the Upstate 2021–2023
  • Named among Super Lawyers "Rising Stars"
We’re humbled to be considered one of the top firms in the Upstate and invite you to learn what sets our award-winning legal services apart. Call or request a consultation online.
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