For the second time in just over a month, a Minnesota nursing home has been cited for neglect in the case of a patient who died after a medical transcription error.

Nurses at a Golden Living nursing home in Hopkins last October mistakenly entered a physician’s order for blood-thinning medication on the wrong person’s medical record. The error went unnoticed by multiple nurses for nine days, until the patient developed blood clots in the brain and died of a stroke, according to a state Department of Health investigative report released Wednesday.

After visiting the Golden Living home last November and interviewing staff, state investigators concluded that the facility “was not monitoring the performance of the nurses and had not conducted annual medication competencies of the nurses.”

A spokeswoman for Golden Living, the nation’s third-largest nursing home chain, with facilities in 21 states, said the company was “deeply saddened” by the patient’s death and was taking measures to prevent such an incident from occurring again.

The findings against Golden Living come just five weeks after a northwestern Minnesota nursing home was found responsible for neglect in the case of a patient who was mistakenly given 10 times his prescribed dose of morphine. Staff at the Mahnomen Health Center, a hospital with a 42-bed nursing home, had transcribed the wrong amount of morphine on the patient’s record, and did not detect the error until it was too late, state investigators found.

Golden Living, with 26 nursing homes in Minnesota, has had a spate of recent health and safety violations at its facilities.

In a case early last year, a patient at a Golden Living home in Moorhead fell out of a mechanical lift, suffering a skull fracture and brain bleeds; the resident was placed on hospice services and died three months after the fall, state investigators found.

In another case, a resident from a Golden Living home in Benson, in Swift County, appeared at a hospital malnourished and dehydrated, with multiple open sores, after staff failed to notify a physician that the patient’s condition had worsened. Since 2013, health officials have substantiated maltreatment at five of the company’s homes in Minnesota.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office last year sued Golden Living for failing to provide basic services at more than two dozen nursing homes in Pennsylvania, alleging that facilities were understaffed and residents were left “thirsty, hungry, dirty, and unkempt.”

The company has repeatedly denied these allegations, asserting that the lawsuit stems from an inappropriate relationship between the attorney general and an outside law firm that is paid by contingency fees.


Twitter: @chrisserres