Originally created 01/06/01

Agency reports offenses

State inspectors said food was not handled under sanitary conditions, patients' dietary restrictions were not always acknowledged, and medical services ordered by physicians were not rendered at Magnolia Hill of Augusta.

According to a Department of Human Resources report, violations found during a Dec. 4 inspection of the nursing home resulted in the termination of the facility's Medicaid and Medicare program.

Administrator Valerie Coleman said the facility's new owners inherited so many violations that they couldn't correct all of the problems even in eight months.

"We have jumped through hoops, and we were doing well," she said. "But we just fell short."

In May 2000, the state produced 40 pages of violations discovered in the facility during an inspection. The report showed poor quality of life for dozens of residents; violations ranged from residents wearing clothes soiled with old food to lack of appropriate medical treatments. At the time, the facility had unkept walls, dirty bathrooms and foul odors, according to the report.

The home was purchased from Southern Care in June by Georgia Nursing Homes Inc.

The new owners have spent money on improvement and staffing since they acquired the facility, but according to the state report, their efforts were not enough. Ms. Coleman calls the offenses on the Dec. 5 report low-level.

The following were listed among the reasons why the home failed the Dec. 4 inspection:

A physician ordered that one patient's vital signs be recorded every shift starting Nov. 30. The vital sign flow sheet showed that the patient's vitals were taken only twice in two weeks.

One patient with an incontinent bladder did not have a catheter strap secured properly and wasn't given the appropriate treatment to prevent urinary tract infections.

Patient diet restrictions that required no salt and low fat were not adhered to. One patient did not receive enough food, when double portions were ordered by the physician. According to the report, the staff said they misinterpreted menu item abbreviations.

Staff members said some of the deficiencies listed were not deficiencies at all, according to the report. Staffers said that, in some cases, nurses failed to record some of the required services on the proper forms, but did record the services in other places.

According to the report, the violations have been corrected, but the law requires Magnolia Hill to reapply for its Medicare/Medicaid certification. Ms. Coleman said the facility is still open and provides services to about 40 residents. Georgia Nursing Homes Inc. has applied for a new certification in hopes that DHR will conduct another inspection this month.

Reach Clarissa J. Walker at (706) 828-3851.


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