11/18/10 — GlenCare faces fine of $20,000 from state

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GlenCare faces fine of $20,000 from state

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on November 18, 2010 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- GlenCare assisted living facility will remain open, but faces fines up to $20,000, as the second of two reports was handed down Wednesday by the state Division of Health Service Regulations.

The facility's state license could have been revoked because of the violations, but regulators stopped short of that because immediate efforts were made to correct problems when the infections started.

An earlier report released last week by the state Division of Public Health stipulated several violations that must be corrected by this Friday.

Regulators have spent recent weeks investigating deaths of five residents at GlenCare from a hepatitis B outbreak. Eight cases have been reported at the facility. The median age of the affected patients is 70. The first died in late August.

There has been some uncertainty about cause of the outbreak, but officials have attributed it to poor sanitation practices, particularly among diabetic patients who have their blood sugar tested regularly. Of the eight cases to date, seven have been diabetics.

"If you connect all the dots, there's a correlation between how they were testing and the outbreak," said Jeff Horton, chief operating officer with the state Division of Health Service Regulation.

Hepatitis B is a contagious virus that can cause liver problems and is typically transmitted by exposure to blood or bodily fluids.

According to the report, based on observations, interviews and review, the facility "failed to assure 6 of 6 (including four recent resident deaths) sampled diabetic residents ... received appropriate care and services in accordance with infection control measures."

Further, the report indicated that confidential interviews with staff and residents evidenced that the facility failed to ensure that all residents were treated with respect and dignity.

"Interviews revealed Staff E 'has an anger problem,' takes it out on staff and residents and it is getting worse," read one entry.

The state's directed plan of correction included changes to infection control measures, including blood glucose monitoring. Policies and procedures will include proper handwashing techniques, use of separate glucometers and lancing devices for individual patients, equipment sanitation and disinfecting techniques and other controls to prevent exposure to blood- borne pathogens.

Appropriate additional training for staff is to be provided immediately, with subsequent training offered for new staff prior to being given work assignments.

Observation of blood glucose monitoring is also to be done at least once weekly by a registered nurse or registered pharmacist. Results are to be documented and available for review.

--The Associated Press contributed to this story.