Oklahoma nursing home abuse laws exist to provide protection for nursing home residents and staff members. These laws outline a certain level of care Under Oklahoma nursing home laws, residents are entitled to basic rights which must be respected and maintained at all times. In 2013, additional Oklahoma nursing home laws were imposed in order to promote resident safety through the allowance of video surveillance in private rooms.
Nursing and Personal Care Services
Oklahoma nursing home laws require certain standards for the level of personal care that each resident is entitled to receive. Residents should be kept clean and free of odor. Bed linens and resident clothing should be kept clean, neat, and dry. Nursing home personnel should ensure that residents are dressed appropriately in accordance with current activities. When bedfast or chairfast, residents should be dressed comfortably while being adequately covered for privacy.
Oklahoma nursing service requirements include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Encouragement of residents to be out of bed and active for reasonable time periods
- Constant availability of fluids to ensure proper hydration
- Providing proper skin care in order to prevent skin breakdown
- The use of supportive devices in order to promote proper positioning and alignment
- Turning bedfast or chairfast residents every two hours in order to prevent injuries such as bedsores
- Implementation of toileting programs and schedules to promote independence and continence
- Updating resident assessments and individual care plans to reflect significant changes in mental, physical, or psychosocial functioning
Oklahoma Nursing Home Dietary Services
Under Oklahoma nursing home laws, each facility is required to meet the nutritional needs of all residents. In order to do this, a nutritionist and food service supervisor must develop a dietary care plan that is specific to the needs of each resident. Qualified staff must be designated to direct and supervise each facility’s dietary services.
Meals and Nourishment
At least three regularly-scheduled meals of their equivalent should be served each day. At least four hours should pass between each meal. Nutrition intervention should be provided to any residents at nutritional risk. Additionally, nourishments must be available and may be offered at any time when in accordance with the resident’s preference and his or her approved diet orders. All residents must be offered bedtime nourishment.
Use of Restraints in Nursing Homes
Under Oklahoma nursing home laws, physical and chemical restraints are prohibited as a form of discipline or convenience for nursing home staff. Restraints may only be used during emergency situations or for treating a resident’s medical condition. In most cases, physician consent is required for the use of physical or chemical restraints. Physical restraints must permit quick release. Locked restraints are prohibited.
Among other requirements, Oklahoma nursing home laws state the following for outlining acceptable restraint use:
- During emergency situations, physical restraints may only be used to ensure the safety of the resident, other residents, or staff members.
- A licensed nurse may utilize physical restraints without physician orders as an injury prevention method when other measures have failed.
- Residents must be continually monitored during periods of restraint.
- During periods of physical restraint, residents must be released for at least 10 minutes every two hours. These residents should be exercised, repositioned, and toileted as needed.
New Oklahoma Electronic Monitoring Law
In 2013, Oklahoma nursing home laws were revised to include Senate Bill 587. Senate Bill 587 permits nursing home residents and their loved ones to install cameras and other electronic monitoring devices in the residents’ rooms.
The bill prohibits Oklahoma nursing homes from denying admittance to a resident who desires a private surveillance camera in his or her room. Nursing homes are also prohibited from moving or retaliating against residents who wish to install surveillance cameras. Additionally, recorded footage from these devices can be used as evidence in civil or criminal proceedings.
Senate Bill 587 Provisions
Senate Bill 587 also notes, among other provisions, that:
- Shared room residents retain privacy rights due to the requirement of consent from all room residents before surveillance is installed
- Nursing homes must accommodate room changes for the resident in the event that his or her current roommates do not consent to surveillance monitoring
- Nursing home facilities must post signage near main entrances stating that electronic video and audio surveillance devices are permitted by residents and their representatives
- Required signage must also indicate that significant penalties will be imposed for the intentional obstructing, hampering, destroying, or tampering with installed electronic devices and the footage recorded
Davis, Craig. “New Oklahoma Law Will Provide Increased Protections for Nursing Home Residents.” AARP States. AARP, 8 Jul 2013. Web. 19 Sep 2013. <http://states.aarp.org/new-oklahoma-law-will-provide-increased-protections-for-nursing-home-residents/>.
“Title 310. Oklahoma State Department of Health, Chapter 675. Nursing and Specialized Facilities.” Oklahoma State Department of Health. State of Oklahoma, 25 Jun 2011. Web. 19 Sep 2013. <http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/LTC Nursing & Specialized Facs Chapt 675.pdf>.
“Title 310. Oklahoma State Department of Health, Chapter 680. Residential Care Homes.” Oklahoma State Department of Health. State of Oklahoma, 25 Jul 2010. Web. 19 Sep 2013. <http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/HRDS-Chapt680 ResCare.pdf>.