Involuntarily-admitted patient deemed incapable of making decisions permitted to sign treatment consent forms

Vines Hospital was cited by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for violating regulations around patient rights and access to a health care surrogate or proxy. AHCA revealed that a patient was involuntarily admitted and was incapable of making decisions regarding her care, but the facility still had her sign informed consent forms to receive medications during her stay. The AHCA inspection revealed the patient was involuntarily admitted to the facility by her mother and a physician noted “please call mom and ask her to be health care proxy and obtain permission from her for medication administration.” However, review of physician orders showed that there were orders for medications, but “no evidence this medication was permitted by health care proxy.” AHCA noted:
“Further review of the clinical record revealed that although the facility had deemed the patient was incapable to make decisions regarding her care and treatment and had Baker acted the patient involuntarily…the facility had the patient sign informed consent forms for Depakote, Ambien, and Abilify on the same day…the facility signed a document stating the resident was unable to ask questions and receive answers about treatment stating “unable/agitated mental state.”
AHCA also cited the facility for failing to petition the courts for a continued involuntary placement within the permitted time frame, as well as failing to determine who had the authority to determine the patient’s care and treatment. The document did not include a plan of correction or actions to be taken to address these cited deficiencies.