Medical passes surprise inspection, perfect score

Published 2:56 pm Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Tryon Estates medical staff got a big surprise in March when North Carolina medical inspectors arrived for an inspection of the medical facilities on a Sunday.

This is not unprecedented since the state mandates that some Retirement-Life Communities may be inspected at off hours. How lucky can you get to be inspected on Sunday?

State procedure is that all pertinent data must be submitted routinely as required. They do allow some extra time for an off hours visit, so an extra hour was allowed.

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Since the Administrator Dee West and the Director of Nursing Freda Gschwend were off, they were called in and assisted the team in gathering information.

Inspectors check medical charts, medication, medical treatments and interview staff, residents and family members. They also observe dining service and kitchen procedures. Deficiencies are things discovered or observed that must be corrected and the number of possibilities range from 0 to 24.

The average number of deficiencies for North Carolina skilled care facilities is 5. Inspections last for several days. The procedure also calls for exit interviews with the staff. The inspection at Tryon Estates was conducted by two qualified nurses.

Tryon Estates medical consists of 33 beds and an Alzheimers section.

The staff consists of qualified doctors, registered nurses, CNAs, and administrative staff. One observation from the inspectors was that the staff really cared about their patients.

One interesting comment from Dee West was that during the last inspection there was a tornado warning so the inspectors got a chance to see emergency protocols taken by the staff.

The inspectors left leaving a rating of no deficiencies fir the facility which was the second perfect score in the last three years. The medical team is very proud of their operation.

George Cashau, a resident of Tryon Estates, writes an occasional column about life at the Columbus retirement village.