URBANA — Officials at the Champaign County Nursing Home say they have filed a "plan of correction" to remedy 14 separate health and safety citations documented in a state public health department inspection last month.
The citations included such items as not providing an appropriately nutritious diet for some residents, not keeping prepared foods at proper temperatures, failure to keep narcotics in a locked box and not providing planned activities based on each resident's functional abilities and interests.
The citations, based on a four-day inspection of the nursing home last month, are nearly certain to result in penalties levied against the facility, which underwent a similar round of regulatory fines a year ago.
"There will probably still be fines associated with this," Chuck Schuette, nursing home administrator, said Monday night.
The inspection was part of an annual licensing survey. Nursing home officials knew approximately when the inspection would take place, but not the exact dates.
"It's amazing how people are moving through their same old motions and they don't have that heightened awareness and don't take care of the little bitty details that they need to take care of," Schuette said.
Despite the problems, nursing home manager Michael Scavotto said "we're making a lot of progress. We're not where we want to be, but we're a health care instititution. We're never going to be where we want to be. We're always going to try to make it better.
"We've made significant improvements to this workforce. I think we're ready to let Chuck (Schuette) take it to the next level. You look at where we are today versus where we were three, four years ago, I think we've made a lot of progress."
Both Schuette and Scavotto insisted that the nursing home is properly staffed.
"I know what the federal requirements are and we're well above what the federal minimum requirements are," Schuette said. "We've got pretty good staffing now. You've got to recognize that they're constantly reducing our reimbursement. So when you say that you ought to add staff, you've got to remember that we have to make payroll.
"The people who are working here deserve a competitive wage. They deserve decent benefits, and when everything is being reduced how do you go back and say, well now we're going to increase staff? It's not doable."
The public health inspection was conducted Jan. 10 to 13, and the nursing home was notified by letter Jan. 20 that it was found to be not in substantial compliance with regulatory requirements. A copy of the Public Health Department report was obtained by The News-Gazette under the Freedom of Information Act.
The nursing home filed its plan of correction on Jan. 31, and it was accepted on Feb. 2.
Among the accusations:
— The nursing home failed to provide adequate dietary requirements for at least four residents, two of whom experienced "significant weight losses" at the facility. One lost 7 pounds, or 5.8 percent of her weight, in 11 days.
— The facility failed to monitor and maintain cold food items at 41 degrees or below, failed to keep hot items at 135 degrees or more and did not ensure that sanitizer used in wiping food contact surfaces was at the correct concentration. A container of yogurt available for serving was measured at 53 degrees and hot breakfast items were measured at between 98 degrees and 127 degrees.
— A narcotic box with drugs for residents had a broken lock.
— A resident with an ulcer on her right heel was fitted with a suspension boot, but one day it was placed on the wrong foot for more than an hour.
— At least seven of 30 sampled residents were on a regimen of antibiotic medications even though their use was not justified.
— At least four residents failed to receive the proper level of planned protein in their diets.
During a nursing home board meeting Monday night, Scavotto said that the facility's average daily census last month was 197.6, above the target of 195, and that revenue in January was among the highest in the last year. Schuette said that a customer satisfaction survey of residents was generally positive.