If you’re looking for a nursing home for your loved one in Bluffton, South Carolina, you want to look at all of the factors involved in what makes a nursing home great for its residents. A vital aspect of this research involves the health and fire safety inspection reports of the facility. Below are the results of recent inspections of NHC Healthcare Bluffton located at 3039 Okatie Highway.

If you or one of your loved ones were hurt by neglect or abuse, call the nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at the Hughey Law Firm today.

About NHC Healthcare Bluffton

The Hughey Law Firm has successfully pursued claims against this facility.

NHC Healthcare Bluffton is a 120-bed facility in Bluffton, South Carolina. The facility accepts Medicare and Medicaid and it is owned by a for-profit corporation. The facility has been given an above average rating on health inspections by Medicare, an average rating on quality measures, and a below average rating on the amount of staffing time provided to each resident per day.

Staffing measures promise time spent with each resident each day by registered nurses, licensed practical or vocational nurses, nurse aides, and physical therapists. NHC Healthcare Bluffton has an average of 111.6 residents per day, which is higher than the state average of 90.2 residents per day or the national average of 85.7 residents per day. Each resident receives an average of 27 minutes a day with a registered nurse, as compared to an average of 43 minutes in South Carolina and an average of 41 minutes in the United States.

Residents receive around one hour and 13 minutes of the LPN/ LVNs’ time, which is more than the state and national averages. Two hours and 18 minutes of nurse aide time are devoted to each resident each day, which is the national average and about two minutes less than the state average. Residents at NHC Healthcare Bluffton receive 17 minutes of physical therapist time each day.

The facility has not been fined as the result of routine inspections or investigations of complaints in the past three years—but even the best facilities can make mistakes, and when they do, they can injure their residents.

The February 2017 Inspection

The facility underwent a health inspection in February 2017, in which no deficiencies were found. The average number of deficiencies discovered in health inspections at South Carolina nursing homes during that time frame was 5.4. Nationally, the average number of deficiencies per inspection during that time frame was 7.6.

The May 2018 Inspection

In May 2018, an inspection revealed EIGHT DEFICIENCIES, including:

  • Failure to ensure that each resident receives an accurate assessment. A review of medical records uncovered a resident receiving anticoagulant medications daily in spite of this medication not being properly recorded in her medical chart.
  • Failure to develop the complete care plan within 7 days of the comprehensive assessment; and prepared, reviewed, and revised by a team of health professionals. Three residents were found to have inaccurate care plans, including one that had discontinued a dietary supplement that was not recorded in his or her chart; one who was ordered to wear compression stockings throughout the day but was observed to not be wearing them; and one whose care plan did not indicate that the resident was prone to falls in spite of staff taking precautions to prevent further falls.
  • Failure to provide appropriate treatment and care according to orders, resident’s preferences and goals.
  • Past noncompliance – remedy proposed. The facility was addressing a non-compliance issue in which a resident received treatment from a provider that it did not have a contract with.
  • Failure to ensure medication error rates are not 5 percent or greater. The facility staff committed 3 medication errors out of 25 opportunities for error, resulting in an error rate of 12 percent.
  • Failure to ensure that residents are free from significant medication errors. It was revealed that medication was improperly administered to a resident requiring insulin. The staff member who injected the insulin via pen performed the procedure without properly priming the insulin pen, which could have resulted in the resident receiving too much or too little medication.
  • Failure to ensure drugs and biologicals used in the facility are labeled in accordance with currently accepted professional principles; and all drugs and biologicals must be stored in locked compartments, separately locked, compartments for controlled drugs. Expired insulin was discovered in the medication storage refrigerator.
  • Failure to procure food from sources approved or considered satisfactory and store, prepare, distribute and serve food in accordance with professional standards. It was discovered that the can opener in the facility’s kitchen had a build up of food debris on it and that mayonnaise and mustard that had been transferred to condiment containers were not properly marked with an opening and expiration date.

The July 2019 Inspection

The inspection that took place in July 2019 yielded one deficiency for which the facility was not fined. The deficiency was as follows:

  • Failure to provide appropriate care for residents who are continent or incontinent of bowel/bladder, appropriate catheter care, and appropriate care to prevent urinary tract infections. It was discovered that, while attending to a resident who required a suprapubic catheter, an LPN applied dressing to the catheter site while wearing gloves that were also used during the cleaning of the catheter site, in violation of the facility’s hand washing policy. An interview with the LPN also indicated that she used cleansing wipes to clean the area rather than the saline ordered by the physician because she felt that the wipes would better clean medicine residue from the site than the saline would.

Fire Safety Inspections

NHC Healthcare Bluffton did not have any violations on its past three fire safety inspections, which were conducted on February 8, 2017; May 4, 2018; and July 11, 2019. Nursing homes in South Carolina have an average of 0.5 fire safety deficiencies per inspection. Nationally, the average number of fire safety deficiencies is three.

Were You or Your Loved One Injured at NHC Healthcare Bluffton? Call the Hughey Law Firm

If you’re concerned about the treatment your loved one has received in a South Carolina nursing home, we would be glad to answer your legal questions. We have helped hundreds of people just like you who have suffered from abuse or neglect at places like NHC Healthcare Bluffton, and we want to help you, too. You can call us at (843) 881-8644 or write to us using our online contact form.

Hughey Law Firm LLC
1311 Chuck Dawley Blvd. | Suite 201
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464
Phone: 843-881-8644