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News from the Front Lines

At a recent Provider Association meeting, the Department of Health (DOH) provided updates on the current survey and the most frequently cited deficiencies. DOH has hired approximately 50 new surveyors statewide, and these individuals are being trained in the new survey process. Due to the number of staff that need to be trained, it is not uncommon for the survey team to consist of 10 or more surveyors. While some surveys are being completed 20 months after the previous survey, DOH expects the timeframe to lessen with the introduction of the new staff.

At the recent meeting, DOH shared a concern regarding Advance Directives and that facilities have been cited in F578, some at the Immediate Jeopardy level, for issues related to Advance Directives. These issues, according to DOH, reflect the following: not determining the residents' wishes at the time of admission, not having a system to communicate the Advance Directive or a change in it to staff, the lack of policies and procedures related to Advance Directives, and failing to honor the resident's Advance Directive.

In terms of deficiencies, the most frequently cited were as follows: Infection Control, Comprehensive Care Plan, Accidents, Unnecessary Medications, Handling/Storage of Food, Investigations of Abuse, Label/Storage of Drugs, Resident Record Accuracy, Revision of Care Plans, and Diabetic Management.

DOH did also announce that Shelly Glock, the Director of the DOH Survey and Certification Program, is leaving to join the Center for Health Care Facilities. Her deputy, Sheila McGarvey, will assume the Director position. The transition will take place in early 2019.

Contact: Elliott Frost, efrost@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8832