At VCCC, the picture looks good

More than 94 percent of the nursing homes across the United States were found to have deficiencies in 2007, according to a report issued last month by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

The deficiencies — found in a range of areas, including medical, nursing and rehabilitative care; dietary and nutrition services; activities and social participation; sanitation; infection control and the physical environment — were found in States’ annual inspections of the facilities.

In Washington, 91 percent of the nursing homes had deficiencies, with an average of 6.6 deficiencies found per home.

At the Vashon Community Care Center, the 2007 state survey shows minor problems in the categories of Menus and Nutritional Adequacy, Sanitary Conditions — Food Service and Prep, and Life Safety, for a total of eight deficiencies, all rated at a level that showed that no harm had been done.

The 2008 survey, completed in September showed only two deficiencies, one in the category of Unnecessary Drugs and one in Life Safety, with neither of the issues having caused harm.

The inspections, always unannounced, show a snapshot in time, looking back over the course of the previous 12 months, according to Bett Schlemmer, the Regional Administrator for the Washington Department of Social and Health Services’ Aging and Disability Services.

“We may never capture everything. But we capture a lot,” she said.

Schlemmer noted that the reports indicate that VCCC has been keeping its processes and systems in order.

Susan Tuller, the administrator at VCCC, is happy with the survey results.

“I know the quality here is good. I don’t expect a perfect score. If you are going to focus on getting a checkmark in every single box, that takes away from focusing on people’s living here. That is not to say we don’t want to be excellent — because we do,” Tuller said.

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