Recently, concerns began mounting over the results of recent health inspection reports from Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing in Mt. Pleasant. Those reports revealed that staff members at the facility weren’t providing adequate care to residents. One woman who inspectors interviewed with a parent at the facility and that she had witnessed the effects of inadequate staffing herself. Whenever her mother had problems at the facility, staff always excused the problems by simply stating that the facility was low on staff. According to the woman, the facility is apparently always low on staff. Recent inspections have revealed numerous violations—more, in some years, than the state average.
The Hughey Law Firm has successfully litigated cases against Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing. If you or your loved one suffered abuse or neglect at Sandpiper, please call us. Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys know how to help you.
Below are the results of the facility’s last three health inspections and the deficiencies that inspectors found.
About Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing
Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing is a large, 176-bed facility located at 1049 Anna Knapp Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The facility is not part of a continuing care retirement community and is not located within a hospital. Sandpiper states that it provides services both to short-stay patients recovering from surgery or a medical condition, such as a heart attack or stroke, as well as long-term care for individuals undergoing the aging process. Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing states that its rehabilitation services have been perfected at its Charleston facility for decades.
The quality of resident care received a two-star rating by Medicare, indicating that it is below average. The services provided for short-stay residents were rated three-star, which is considered average, while the quality of care given to long-term residents received a two-star, below-average rating.
July 2016 Inspection
An inspection conducted in July 2016 revealed six deficiencies, as follows:
- Failure to develop policies that prevent mistreatment, neglect, or abuse of residents or theft of resident property. Based on reviews of records and facility policies, along with interviews, inspectors determined that the facility failed to implement its written procedures in reporting alleged physical abuse of a resident to the state agency. The victim of the alleged abuse’s roommate reported the incident to inspectors, who subsequently found that the incident had already been reported to a nurse on duty. The administrator, when interviewed, stated that he/she had not reported the incident to the state agency, but that he/she was not sure why. The facility’s policy notes that all allegations of abuse must be reported to the state agency within 24 hours along with follow-up investigative reports within five days.
- Failure to provide care for residents in a way that keeps or builds each resident’s dignity and respect for individuality. Based on interviews, record review, and review of facility policies, it was discovered that the facility failed to provide an environment that promotes the dignity of residents while in the dining area. During mealtime, inspectors observed staff members entering resident’s rooms without knocking or by calling out “knock, knock” and then entering before waiting for permission to do so. Additionally, residents who were medically ordered not to take oral sustenance were observed in the vicinity of a resident who was eating.
- Failure to make sure that residents are safe from serious medication errors. Based on observations, record reviews, interviews, pharmacy reports, and manufacturer labeling, it was discovered that the facility failed to ensure that it was free from significant medication errors by allowing expired medication to be administered to a resident. It was found that approximately 46 doses of expired insulin had been administered to a resident, with the medication’s expiration date 32 days before the inspection.
- Failure to store, cook, and serve food in a safe and clean way. Based on observation, interview, and review of facility policies, the facility failed to store food under sanitary conditions. Inspectors found opened food items that were not labeled or dated in the main food storage refrigerator. The food items included sliced salami, cheese, and chopped vegetables.
- Failure to safely provide drugs and other similar products, which are needed every day and in emergencies. Observations, record reviews, and interviews revealed that the facility failed to assure that medications were removed from use following a recall by the Food and Drug Administration. The facility’s pharmacists stated that the facility had not received a recall notice and was unaware of the recall.
- Failure to maintain drug records and properly mark/label drugs and other similar products according to accepted professional standards. Observation, record reviews, and interviews revealed that the facility failed to remove drugs from use that were the subject of a recall by the Food and Drug Administration. The facility’s pharmacists were reportedly unaware that the drug in question had been the subject of a recall.
The average number of health inspection deficiencies found at South Carolina nursing homes was 5.7.
May 2017 Inspection
The May 2017 inspection of Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing uncovered 13 deficiencies, including:
- Failure to provide care for residents in a way that keeps or builds each resident’s dignity and respect for individuality. Observations, interviews, and review of facility policies revealed that the facility failed to serve meals in a manner that would ensure the dignity of a resident by serving some residents at a table while making others seated at the same table wait for their meals. Additionally, it was discovered that one of the residents had failed to groom a resident when he/she wished to be groomed.
- Failure to reasonably accommodate the needs and preferences of each resident. It was discovered that the facility failed to ensure that a resident was able to effectively activate a call button from bed. Another resident, during an interview, stated that he/she had been woken up at 3 am for a bath. The resident had stated that his/her preferred time to bathe is at 10 am, but he/she was told that there was no availability at that time.
- Failure to provide housekeeping and maintenance services. It was discovered that housekeeping and maintenance services were not provided in three of four of the facility’s units to maintain a safe and orderly interior. Walls, doors, and corners in the facility were damaged.
- Failure to make sure services provided by the nursing facility meet professional standards of quality. It was discovered that a resident had been administered medication that his/her record clearly stated he/she was allergic to.
- Failure to encode and automate the resident’s assessment data. Inspectors found that the facility failed to transmit assessment data for 10 out of 10 residents in a timely manner.
- Failure to provide necessary care and services to maintain the highest well-being of each resident. Inspectors discovered that the facility failed to provide coordination of hospice care services and failed to document the current certification of hospice services.
- Failure to give residents proper treatment to prevent new bed (pressure) sores or heal existing sores. An LPN was observed moving an over-bed table with gloved hands before proceeding to treat the wounds, in spite of facility policy that dictates that the gloves be changed before wound care begins.
- Failure to make sure that the nursing home area is free from accident hazards and risks and provides supervision to prevent avoidable accidents. Residents were observed plugging personal items into surge protectors, and the facility failed to ensure that residents were protected from falls, resulting in injury to one resident.
- Failure to store, cook, and serve food in a safe and clean way. Inspectors discovered that the facility failed to maintain an emergency food supply, used the same alcohol pad while temping food in the food line, failed to calibrate the thermometer used for testing the temperature for food, and there were cleanliness concerns in the kitchen cabinets.
- Failure to safely provide drugs and other similar products that are needed every day and in emergencies. The facility administered medication to a resident who was recorded as being allergic to that type of medication.
- Failure to have a program that investigates, controls, and keeps infection from spreading. The facility failed to properly sanitize soiled laundry.
- Failure to keep all essential equipment working safely. The facility failed to ensure that the clothes dryers were kept free from lint build-up.
- Failure to provide bedrooms that don’t allow residents to see each other when privacy is needed. Inspectors observed rooms that did not have privacy curtains, and nothing in policy requires the need for privacy curtains.
In 2017, nursing homes in South Carolina had an average of 8.2 deficiencies, while the national average for health inspection deficiencies in nursing home facilities was eight.
August 2018 Inspection
The health inspection conducted at Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing in August 2018 revealed 11 deficiencies, including:
- Failure to honor the resident’s right to a dignified existence, to self-determination, to communication, and to exercise his or her rights. Inspectors observed staff entering residents’ rooms without waiting for permission to do so.
- Failure to give residents notice of Medicaid/Medicare coverage and potential liability for services not covered.
- Failure to provide timely notification to the resident, and if applicable, to the resident representative and ombudsman, before transfer or discharge, including appeal rights. The facility failed to notify three residents of transfer to the hospital in a language that they could understand.
- Failure to develop and implement a complete care plan that meets all the resident’s needs, with timetables and measurable actions. The facility failed to follow a resident’s care plan directive on the prevention of falls. The resident fell while trying to get into bed without assistance.
- 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. The facility failed to include all disciplines in the care plans of several residents.
- Failure to communicate necessary information to the resident and receiving healthcare provider at the time of a planned discharge.
- Failure to ensure that a nursing home area is free from accident hazards and provides adequate supervision to prevent accidents.
- 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. A staff member failed to properly clean a resident’s catheter with soap.
- Failure to procure food from sources approved or considered satisfactory and to store, prepare, distribute, and serve food in accordance with professional standards. Inspectors found spoiled food in the facility’s refrigerator.
- Failure to provide and implement an infection prevention and control program. The facility failed to ensure that soiled laundry was placed in bags before placing it in bins in the laundry room.
- Failure to keep all essential equipment working safely. It was discovered that the facility had allowed a build-up of lint in the dryers, and no documentation had been found to suggest that there was a routine cleaning of lint traps.
In April 2018, the facility received a federal fine of $6,500. In 2018, the state average for health inspection deficiencies at nursing homes was 6.8. The national average was 8.2.
Fire Safety Inspections
Inspections completed fire safety inspections at the same time that they completed health inspections. They discovered the following deficiencies during the last three years’ worth of fire safety inspections:
- Automatic sprinkler deficiency – 2016
- Building construction deficiency – 2017
- Corridor walls and doors deficiency – 2016
- Electrical deficiency – 2016
- Smoke deficiency – 2017, 2018
- Two gas, vacuum, and electrical systems deficiencies – 2017
As of the date of the last inspection, the average number of fire safety deficiencies found at nursing home facilities in South Carolina was 0.5. The national average was three.
Call Hughey Law if Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing Neglected or Abused Your Loved One
While you should consider health inspections when looking for a nursing home for your loved one, they are not the only consideration. Base your decision on the personal needs and desired services a facility offers, as well as a tour and interview of management staff at the facility.
Always monitor the staff and inspection reports carefully, and take the time to talk to your loved one about treatment at the facility. If you notice any warning signs of abuse or neglect, or if your loved one was injured due to abuse or neglect at Sandpiper Rehab & Nursing (or any other nursing home in South Carolina), call the Hughey Law Firm. We have successfully pressed cases against many nursing homes in this state for the neglect and abuse of their residents—including Sandpiper.
You can reach our compassionate nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at (843) 881-8644 or by clicking here. We look forward to helping you and your loved one through this difficult time.
Hughey Law Firm LLC
1311 Chuck Dawley Blvd. | Suite 201
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464