Friday, August 19, 2016
Gracedale Update: Four Deficiencies Noted by State Officials
Gracedale's two-year run as a deficiency free nursing home is over. Raymond Soto, Permier's new Administrator, informed Council at their August 18 meeting that four deficiencies were noted by the State Department of Health in July. All relate to resident care.
According to Soto, the nursing home was cited for failure to notify a resident's doctor and family concerning an injury; failure to rule out potential abuse as the cause of an injury; a medication error with a resident suffering from dementia and anxiety; and a resident who fell when not provided with a doctor-ordered pelvic belt.
Council also noted a substantial increase in the number of employees taking FMLA (unpaid family medical leave), which was at 123 in July.
Executive John Brown explained that he believes this increase is a reaction to changes in the facility's absentee policy.
Last year, he explained, as many as 700 of 800 employees were calling in sick at least once every month. He claimed the cost was between $2.5 and $4 million, and that Gracedale could have been budget neutral but for all these absences. "We're bleeding out the backdoor," he complained.
So Brown, in conjunction with AFSCME, the union representing most Gracedale workers, tightened the absentee policy. This new policy, which took effect at the beginning of this year, reduced absenteeism by 50%.
But he said that as he tightens one policy, some employees who "want to abuse the system" will take advantage of other programs.
Brown indicated that Human Resources Director Amy Trapp is educating managers and supervisors on the various policies so that no program is abused.