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Southcrest In Trouble With State Care Center Ordered Not To Accept New Patients

Tue., May 13, 1997

For the second time in two years, a South Hill nursing home is in trouble for violating state standards for patient care.

Southcrest Subacute and Specialty Care Center at 110 W. Cliff has been ordered to close its doors to new residents.

The state Department of Social and Health Services issued the stop-placement order on May 2, 11 days after the facility failed to pass an inspection, state officials said.

The home is licensed to care for up to 212 patients.

In the state’s 46-page investigative report, Southcrest managers and employees are accused of verbally abusing a resident and leaving others who require strict monitoring unattended.

The alleged verbal abuse occurred as two nurses were helping a resident go to the bathroom. A third nurse blamed the patient for taking up too much staff time.

“It’s your fault we don’t get our breaks,” the nurse said, according to the report.

That incident was disclosed to investigators by the patient’s family members. The nurse who made the statement later claimed to be joking.

Investigators also said five residents with a history of endangering themselves in falls were left unattended for too long by Southcrest staff.

Southcrest’s parent company, Milwaukee-based Unicare Homes Inc., said the problems cited in the report are being addressed.

Unicare’s Jim Scadlock, assistant vice president for Washington, Oregon and Idaho, has assumed “lead management responsibilities and oversight” of Southcrest, company spokesman Mike Mervis said.

Scadlock is working with Southcrest administrator Mary Ann Chaklos to develope a permanent solution to the facility’s problems, Mervis said.

Last year, Southcrest was ordered not to accept new patients after inspectors said the home failed to properly investigate unexplained patient injuries.

Another Unicare nursing home in Spokane - Franklin Hills Health and Rehabilitation Center at 6021 N. Lidgerwood - was also recently barred by the state from admitting new patients.

Franklin Hills cares for 117 people. In a 20-page report, an inspector said licensed nursing staff failed to assess and properly monitor residents’ bowel movements. Some residents went four to 10 days before having a bowel movement and suffered hardened stools and weight loss.

Doug Swaim, Unicare’s regional operations director, will assume senior management responsibility for Franklin Hills, according to Mervis.

“We believe that our policies, procedures and operational methods which are utilized throughout the country when properly followed by all employees are effective in providing quality care and service,” Mervis said in a prepared statement.

Unicare also operates The Gardens on University nursing home in the Spokane Valley, and Ironwood Rehabilitation Center and Sunset Terrace in Coeur d’Alene.

, DataTimes

Tags: healthcare

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