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Medication errors among problems found at rehab facility

Multiple deficiencies in its health care practices have caused a Limestone rehabilitation facility to lose its Medicare and Medicaid qualification with the federal government.

The facility, the John M. Reed Health & Rehabilitation facility, was subject to a South Carolina Department of Health survey investigation that alleges several deficient practices there, including but not limited to the failure of staff to prevent avoidable patient problems with patient re-positioning, the development of pressure ulcers and urinary tract infections, and problems with administration of medications. With regard to the medication errors, these involved how antibiotics were administered and problems with transcription and delivery of medications meant to combat infections.

Some of the deficiencies discovered by the survey were serious enough for the investigation to conclude that they posed a risk of putting patients into immediate jeopardy, including several building-related safety concerns connected to the fire alarm and sprinkler systems as well as the backup generator system. Staff shortages also led the management of the facility to use personnel for health care tasks that they were not qualified to perform, such as engaging a housekeeper to check patient vital signs.

The loss of Medicare and Medicaid qualification could be only part of the concerns of the facility. Any time that patients of a health care facility are harmed by problems such as inadequate staffing, medication errors, and patient injuries, the possibility also exists that those patients or their relatives could consult with personal injury counsel initiate legal action based on medical malpractice, hospital negligence, or both.

Source: Greenville Sun, "John M. Reed Facility Found Deficient," Ken Little, Dec. 4, 2015

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