Two nurses fired for false insulin reports at Northland nursing homeTwo employees at Cook Nursing Home failed to conduct blood sugar tests on seven residents. They then filed reports on insulin levels with made-up numbers, according to Minnesota Department of Health documents.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
Two employees at Cook Nursing Home failed to conduct blood sugar tests on seven residents. They then filed reports on insulin levels with made-up numbers, according to Minnesota Department of Health documents.
Insulin was administered to two of the residents based on the falsified numbers in the incidents that occurred last year, the report from health department special investigator Christine Bodick-Nord said. The falsified readings also resulted in some residents not receiving insulin.
Each of the residents had at least some degree of cognitive impairment, she added in the public report, which was filed April 5. Both employees were licensed practical nurses, said Allen Vogt, Cook Hospital administrator. Neither the nurses nor the residents were named in the report.
The nurses were fired after the incidents came to light, Vogt said. No criminal charges were filed, he added.
Rene Cronquist, director for practice and policy for the state Board of Nursing, said a complaint against the nurses is being reviewed, and disciplinary action is possible. But until the review is complete, the information isn’t public, she said.
None of the residents was harmed as a result of the falsified reports, Vogt said.
The hospital, which operates the nursing home at the same site in northern St. Louis County, wasn’t faulted. “The facility implemented adequate corrective action” by retraining employees on the glucometer and the importance of blood sugar levels for diabetic residents, the report said. The facility also conducted audits of glucometer readings and the residents’ actual readings.
The incidents cited in the report occurred between May 23 and June 6 last year, Bodick-Nord’s report said. They came to light when one of the residents, who has mild cognitive impairment, told staff she couldn’t remember having her blood sugar checked or receiving insulin the evening before.
Both of the nurses were fired June 10, the report said.
Bodick-Nord visited the nursing home beginning Aug. 2. She interviewed a third employee, who stated that the blood sugar levels recorded by the two nurses and the glucometer’s memory didn’t match each other.
When Bodick-Nord interviewed one of the former nurses on Aug. 29, she admitted that she didn’t check blood sugar levels for some residents and admitted charting false numbers, the report said. The other nurse didn’t respond to voice mails and e-mails, Bodick-Nord wrote.
What were the nurses thinking?
“I don’t know the reasoning why, and I wouldn’t want to speculate,” Vogt said. “I feel bad if an individual isn’t willing to participate fully in their profession. This is not a profession where you can give 75 percent. You’ve got to give 100 percent.”