An identity mix-up at a Texas skilled nursing facility led to a nurse telling the wrong family that their loved one had died, according to local reports.
Park Manor of the Woodlands phoned Davida Jones Saturday to tell her that her mom, who was recovering from spine surgery, has passed away, Houston affiliate of NBCT TV reported.
An hour or so later, a certified nursing assistant discovered that a terrible mistake was made, and asked Davida Jones’ niece to clarify.
“The nurses insisted they had the right family until the CNA finally moved in between them and asked, ‘Honey, is your grandmother black or white?’” Jones said. She clarified that her grandmother is white. “The CNA said (to the nurse), ‘You have the wrong family. You called the wrong family.’”
The incident reflects the challenges of using names as identifiers in healthcare facilities. The nursing home had two residents with the exact same name, but of a different race, and staff failed to check their birth dates, the station found. Park Manor, located in The Woodlands, TX, in the Houston area, apologized in a statement issued to the TV station.
“We sincerely regret the error which (was) made by one of our staff on Saturday, Sept. 1,” the facility stated. “We have contacted and met with the family who was wrongly informed of their loved one’s passing and apologized for the unfortunate error and notification. We hope the family will forgive us for this sad mistake and understand the staff member acted in haste without any intent of malice.”