Facility did not add staff when patient put on 1:1 observation

Summit Oaks Hospital was cited by the New Jersey Department of Health for deficiencies in Nurse Staffing. After receiving a complaint, the Department of Health examined staff schedules for a one-week period and found that “the facility failed to maintain its staffing plan for one shift.” During this shift, from 3pm to 11pm, a unit with 14 patients was staffed by two RN’s and one Mental Health Aide. However, since the Mental Health Aide was assigned to perform 1:1 observation of one of the patients, the Department of Health found that the facility’s own staffing plan would have required an additional staff member to be on the unit. In an interview, a staff member “stated that the unit is staffed according to the census at the beginning of the shift.” To address this deficiency, the facility agreed to review and audit staffing levels.