Facility hit with $25,000 fine when photo appears online

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Genesis said all employees are trained annually on patient privacy, and staff are not allowed to use phones in residents’ rooms.
Genesis said all employees are trained annually on patient privacy, and staff are not allowed to use phones in residents’ rooms.

An Illinois skilled nursing and rehab center was fined $25,000 after a certified nurse aide admitted to posting a partially nude photo of a resident on social media.

The Illinois Department of Public Health cited the 120-bed Illini Restorative Care in September, according to the agency's fourth-quarter report. The facility, owned by Genesis Health System, self-reported the incident to the department after another CNA saw the photo online. In the photo, the male resident can be seen unclothed from the waist up, according to the health department report.

State investigators said the CNA called the photo's post- ing “a complete accident,” not- ing that she was using social media on her cellphone in the resident's room. When he got restless, she dropped the phone in her pocket, “not realizing it had taken the picture and posted it.”

The CNA acknowledged she had received training on abuse prevention and cell-phone use, and admitted that she was not supposed to have her cellphone in her pocket.

In citing the facility for three code violations, the health department said Illini “failed to ensure a resident's right to be free from exploitation on social media,” and that failure caused the resident “to suffer public humiliation and dehumanization.”

Genesis spokesman Craig Cooper reinforced that employees are trained annually about protecting patient privacy, and prohibited from using phones in resident rooms.

“This was a regrettable mistake by one employee who is no longer employed by Genesis Health System,” Cooper told McKnight's. “While Illini Restorative Care, as a facility, did everything correctly, one employee did not.”