Does Anonymity Help or Hurt Victims of Nursing Negligence in Nursing Homes?
The ability to lodge a complaint, either publicly or anonymously, feels like an important part of our society. Maybe you’ve left a negative review online for a restaurant in hopes of a future improvement in service. Or maybe you’ve written an anonymous letter to the editor that would make you unpopular with your neighbors. But when it comes to reporting elder abuse and nursing negligence, the ability to remain anonymous takes on a whole new level of importance. If you or a loved one lived in a nursing home, would you feel safe filing a public complaint about the people who you depend on to keep you alive and healthy? Or, if you worked in a nursing home and witnessed unsafe conditions, would you feel comfortable calling out your employer by name?
Anonymous Nursing Home Negligence Complaint Legislation
The state of Illinois debated whether anonymous complaints are good for the people who give and receive long-term care. The bill before the Illinois legislature would have prevented the state from accepting or investigating anonymous complaints.
Supporters of the bill argued that requiring contact information will help investigators resolve cases and punish nursing homes for infractions. The bill, which was not passed, also proposed to cut down on false reports by exposing lying complainants to criminal sanctions. On the other hand, detractors point out that anonymous complaints can protect employees who are looking to report nursing negligence and vulnerable residents from retribution.
Ohio Nursing Home Complaints are on the Rise
The number of nursing home and long-term care complaints have been increasing in Ohio, mirroring that of the nation. Complaints are classified into two categories; substantiated (28%) and unsubstantiated (72%). Regardless of whether a complaint is substantiated, an increase in complaints is still an important nursing home service marker. A study found that “The largest source of complaints [in Ohio] came from families, accounting for one-third of complaints. One in four were anonymous and one in ten came directly from residents. The biggest category of complaints were about resident rights, followed by concerns about quality of care.”
It’s still legal in Ohio to make anonymous complaints about nursing homes. However, the Ohio Department of Health points out the downsides. “If you remain anonymous, ODH will not be able to contact you to obtain additional information or notify you of the results of the complaint investigation.”
For an overview of your complaint options in our state, here’s how to report nursing home abuse in Ohio.
Why Should I Call a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer?
As an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who also was a practicing nurse, I’m here with you from the beginning. My firm is small by design and it’s my name on the door. That means I’m selective about the cases I take so that I can personally work all aspects: handling your lawsuit, interviewing witnesses, researching legal and medical issues, and engaging experts.
When you hire me, it’s the beginning of a partnership. Your case will not be handed off to junior attorneys or staff. Instead, I will be handing all facets of your case. Your case is extremely personal. So is my work for you.
In the end, I believe that law is the great equalizer. It’s what allows individuals like you and me to stand on equal footing against professionals and corporations and their teams of lawyers. Together we can challenge them and hold them accountable for the harm that they cause.
If carelessness has harmed your family through personal injury, wrongful death, or elder mistreatment, please reach out to the Nancy C. Iler Law Firm for a free consultation.