Each day, individuals in South Carolina and around the country entrust the safety and comfort of their elderly and infirm loved ones to nursing facilities. However, many times those individuals are unaware of the safety and health record of the facility—problems that could lead to a loved one’s injury by the neglect or abuse of the staff.
One such facility is NHC Healthcare Clinton, located at 304 Jacobs Highway in Clinton, South Carolina. A look at the Medicare records of this facility uncovered the following information. For more assistance with nursing home or assisted living law in the Clinton area speak with a skilled nursing home abuse and neglect attorney at Hughey Law Firm today.
About NHC Healthcare Clinton
NHC Healthcare Clinton is a 131-bed facility in Clinton, South Carolina, that is owned by a for-profit corporation and provides both short term rehabilitation as well as long term care. The facility has received above average ratings in staffing and quality measures and has a reportedly low number of substantiated complaints against it. Some of its highest marks came in the areas of consistent staffing for both short term and long term residents. However, it has also racked up a fine of $20,985 as the result of the investigation of a complaint in November 2018, and the annual health and safety inspections in 2017 and 2018 uncovered one violation each.
November 2018 Inspection
In November 2018, an investigation was conducted at NHC Healthcare Clinton following a complaint of neglect. The investigation revealed that a resident suffered a fractured femur after falling in the shower. The resident was being assisted by a certified nurse’s assistant at the time when the incident occurred. From that incident, the facility was found to have committed the following violations to resident care:
- Failure to develop and implement policies and procedures to prevent abuse, neglect, and theft. The care plan for this particular resident stated that extensive assistance was needed when transferring the resident from a wheelchair to the shower, including at least two staff members and the use of a mechanical lift. However, a single CNA was performing the transfer. After the resident’s knees buckled in the shower, the CNA assessed for injuries, completed the shower, and assisted the resident back to bed. The resident complained of leg pain. It was later revealed that the resident suffered a fractured femur. The CNA was terminated, but the facility administrator decided that there was no need for an investigation into the incident, as the CNA knew what the protocol with that resident was and chose not to follow it. A review of the facility’s Patient Protection and Response Policy revealed any patient event reported to any facility staff by patient, family, other staff member or any other person is considered an allegation of ether abuse, neglect, misappropriation of patient property or exploitation if it meets any of the following criteria: a complaint of physical harm, pain or mental anguish resulting from the actions of others; a complaint of deprivation by an individual caregiver of goods and services necessary to attain or maintain physical, mental, and psychological well-being to include personal care issues.
- Failure to timely report suspected abuse, neglect, or theft and report the results of the investigation to proper authorities.
- Failure to respond appropriately to all alleged violations.
- Failure to develop and implement a complete care plan that meets all the resident’s needs, with timetables and actions that can be measured.
The facility was fined $20,985 for the reported incident and a red warning was placed on the facility’s Medicare listing indicating that it has been cited for abuse.
July 2017 Inspection
The routine inspection in July 2017 discovered the following violation:
- Failure to store, cook, and serve food in a safe and clean way. Inspectors observed residents who were served meals in their rooms being served a roll and bread pudding without these food items being covered. A subsequent interview with the facility’s certified dietary manager uncovered the belief that certain foods do not have to be covered when being served off of a food tray. The director of nursing later stated that, while the facility doesn’t have a specific policy regarding whether certain foods must be covered, they should be covered if they were being delivered more than two doors away.
There were no fines associated with this violation.
October 2018 Inspection
Another routine inspection of the facility took place in October 2018, and also revealed a single violation, as follows:
- Failure to implement gradual dose reductions (GDR) and non-pharmacological interventions, unless contraindicated, prior to initiating or instead of continuing psychotropic medication; and PRN orders for psychotropic medications are only used when the medication is necessary and PRN use is limited. Record reviews revealed that the facility administered a medication to a resident that had a document in his or her record indicating an allergy to that medication. Repeated notes from a physician and a nurse practitioner failed to address the documented allergy to the medication, in spite of a large sticker in the records stating an allergy. After speaking with the resident’s family members, it was determined that the resident likely did not have an allergy to the medication and he or she had not exhibited any symptoms of an allergic reaction when the medication was given.
October 2018 Fire and Emergency Preparedness Inspection
In October 2018, the facility also underwent a fire and emergency preparedness inspection. Previous inspections yielded no violations. However, the following deficiencies were found at this particular inspection:
- The facility failed to ensure that special areas are constructed so that the walls can resist fire for up to one hour or have an approved fire extinguishing system. Records indicate that the issue was fixed by the end of the month in which the inspection occurred.
- The facility does not have restrictions on the use of portable space heaters. Record also indicates that this issue has been corrected.
In the past three years, the facility has not been cited for violations based on incidents reported by the staff or complaints from residents or resident family members.
Call The Hughey Law Firm if You or Your Loved One Was Hurt at NHC Healthcare Clinton
If you believe that your loved one is suffering from abuse or neglect at NHC Healthcare Clinton or any other South Carolina nursing home facility, contact Hughey Law or call us at (843) 881-8644 to learn more about your legal options. We focus on nursing home abuse and neglect cases, and we want to help you.
Hughey Law Firm LLC
1311 Chuck Dawley Blvd. | Suite 201
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464