legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
South Carolina Nursing Home Ratings & Safety Violation Information
South Carolina has 190 nursing homes according to the Medicare website. While some 51 percent of these homes have above average or even stellar rankings, an unacceptable number of homes–32 percent–have below average or very poor ratings and fall far short of minimum standards mandated by Medicare and Medicaid.
With millions of cases of nursing home abuse reported across the country every year, many patients’ families, state and federal government officials, and patients themselves, in South Carolina and elsewhere, have expressed grave concerns about the quality of care in nursing homes and the sufficiency of supervision and enforcement of safety and elder abuse law and policy violations.
Families searching for a trustworthy nursing home or who have already placed their loved one in a home should stay vigilant against violations and keep an eye the home’s ratings to help protect their loved ones from harm.
To help you better understand the issues to look out for and keep your vulnerable loved one safe, here are 5 of the most common safety violations found in some of South Carolina’s lowest-rated nursing homes.Failure to Protect Residents from All Forms of Abuse
Nursing homes must protect its residents from all forms of abuse, including physical, mental, sexual abuse, and physical punishment and neglect. State surveyors have cited several South Carolina nursing homes for their failure to protect residents in this manner. The reported abuse has consisted of actions, such as:
- Incidents of rough handling (Heartland Health and Rehabilitation Care Center)
- Improperly transporting and causing serious injury to residents (Dundee Manor, Bayview Manor, Sumter East Health Rehabilitation Center)
- Intentionally releasing control of a wheelchair with a disabled resident (Ridge Rehabilitation Healthcare Center)
- Mocking the limited motricity of a resident (Dundee Manor)
- Inappropriate contact between a certified nursing assistant and resident (Mount Pleasant Manor)
Pressure ulcers remain a major health problem in long-term care facilities. To ensure the health, safety, and comfort of the residents, nursing homes must take all available measures to treat bedsores and allow them to heal safely. State investigators have cited nursing homes for such violations when:
- the staff failed to observe proper protocol for hygiene when treating a bedsore (Compass Post Acute Rehabilitation)
- the facility failed to accurately implement an intervention related to pressure ulcer treatment. (Blue Ridge)
- the staff did not give the resident the pressure relief boots as ordered.” (Riverside Health)
It’s vital for nursing home staff to notice and immediately report a change in a resident’s condition. The staff should be trained to recognize signs of illness, distress or a diminution of abilities and should understand the steps to take upon witnessing any changes. The state cited Laurel Baye Healthcare in Blackville for such a violation when its staff failed to report that a resident had a declining ability to get dressed or take of their personal hygiene.Failure to Promptly Notify the Patient, the Families or Doctor of a Change in the Resident's Condition Including a Decline in Their Health or Injury
Residential homes have a responsibility to immediately notify family members or doctors when a resident’s condition has changed significantly, or they have suffered an injury. State investigators issued citations for such violations when the home failed to promptly report:
- significant changes in blood test results (Chester Nursing Home)
- an emergency room visit (Life Care Center of Charleston)
- falls (Compass Post Acute Rehabilitation, PruittHealth)
- the resident’s refusal to take medication (Riverside Health Rehabilitation Center)
It’s especially important to protect our most vulnerable population from suffering easily preventable accidents. State investigators have cited several nursing homes for failing to keep the residence free of accident hazards, including when:
- a staff member left a resident lying unattended on the floor of the shower room (Heartland Health and Rehabilitation)
- staff failed to give a resident a required wheelchair alarm after repeated notice (Blue Ridge)
- staff failed to install a fall safety device on a resident’s wheelchair (Compass Post Acute Rehabilitation)
- a patient fell after the staff used the wrong sling for transporting the patient (Faith Healthcare Center)
Naturally, these are just a few of the dozens of safety violations that occur in South Carolina nursing homes. Others may relate to the home’s failure to have a properly trained nursing staff, written policies to help prevent abuse or mistreatment of residents, an adequate staff to resident ratio, a comprehensive care plan in place for residents, or provide care to residents in a way that keeps their dignity.
To learn more about the safety violations in South Carolina nursing homes, read the full reviews of several low-rated homes below. For more information about how you can protect the safety and interests of your loved one, contact a South Carolina nursing home abuse lawyer.