State Asks Nursing Facility To Stop Cell Phone Abuses

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - State officials have asked nursing homes to review their employee cell-phone policies after an investigation found staff at a Lexington facility used the phones to inappropriately photograph residents.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that the investigation found staff at the Bluegrass Care and Rehabilitation Center had attached sexually explicit lyrics to photos of seven residents and sent them as text messages to other employees.

The newspaper says it received additional documents in the case under the Kentucky Open Records Act. The documents show employees also used the phones to record patients screaming or asking to go to the bathroom.

Kentucky has no laws or regulations regarding cell phone use by staff in long-term facilities. Any action taken because of the state's request would be voluntary.

The Inspector General's Office of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services made the request after the April investigation at Bluegrass Care and Rehabilitation.

"We did not think things would get so far out of hand," an employee who sent photos to 10 others told state investigators. "We were just having fun. Everybody was on the cell phone 24-7."

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