A Southwestern Iowa health care facility was fined $ 20,500 for handling resident care during the coronavirus pandemic. KETV NewsWatch 7 Investigates obtained the approximately 90-page report compiled by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals (DIA). It details the facility’s failure to implement an infection control program, stating that Oakland Manor did not isolate residents for a minimum of ten days after the first symptoms of COVID-19 appeared. Inspectors spent more than a month at the facility interviewing staff members, administrators and residents. “What they found was that there was a real lack of any kind of infection control programs established by their staff,”
A health care facility in southwestern Iowa was fined $ 20,500 for handling resident care during the coronavirus pandemic.
KETV NewsWatch 7 Investigates obtained the approximately 90-page report compiled by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals (DIA).
It details the facility’s inability to implement an infection control program, stating that Oakland Manor did not isolate residents for a minimum of ten days after the first symptoms of COVID-19 appeared.
The inspectors spent more than a month at the facility interviewing staff members, administrators and residents.
“What they found was that there was a real lack of any kind of infection control programs established by their staff,” said Pottawattamie County Planning Director Matt Wyant.
Inspectors also found that staff members did not properly disinfect some equipment and wore incomplete or inadequate personal protective equipment, among other violations.
Among other violations related to COVID-19, inspectors also reported:
- Staff members routinely wore protective masks and goggles, but did not regularly wear clothing
- Incidents where staff were unable to change gloves while switching between patients
Wyant said his staff running the county public health department have been trying to get Oakland Manor to follow the state leadership since early April.
“I knew we had to call the state and get some action over there,” Wyant said.
DIA investigators also reported that a precautionary isolation area at the facility was never properly sealed, but said Oakland Manor’s assistant nursing director noted, “They kept residents’ doors closed.”
According to Pottawattamie County Public Health, 10 residents of Oakland Manor have died from COVID-19. During the facility’s outbreak, 30 residents tested positive for the virus, along with 17 staff members.
“It’s hard to read through to know that people are their most vulnerable moments being treated the way they are,” Wyant said.
But the DIA’s Oakland Manor report goes beyond COVID-19 concerns. According to investigators:
- The facility was unable to prove that five residents regularly received baths
- A resident identified as Patient 6 reportedly lacked bathroom documentation for the weeks June 29 to July 13 and July 27 to August 3
- Another resident needed emergency surgical skin ulcers that presumably would not be documented adequately
- One resident identified as patient 7 suffered from dementia and acute renal failure. In May, he was found outside the facility on his hands and knees, covered in feces with the back side exposed. DIA investigators reportedly said staff were told not to talk about the incident because the director of nursing “didn’t want the administrator to know he was out.”
- Investigators said staff were allowed to use phones instead of the facilities’ walkie-talkies, despite a policy banning the use of phones while on duty.
- Inspectors said Oakland Manor failed to provide water jugs or glasses to some of the residents’ rooms
In one section of the report, investigators determined that Oakland Manor “must develop and implement a comprehensive person-centered care plan for every resident.”
Dr. Glenn Hurst is listed as Oakland Manor’s medical director, but has only spoken with KETV Newswatch 7 Investigates as a senior health advocate and family doctor.
Hurst said in March, he filed his lawsuit for Pottawattamie County and the State Department of Health to build a new long-term care, nursing facility that can meet CDC standards and public health guidelines related to COVID-19. Hurst said nursing homes, particularly in rural areas, cannot meet the standards set by local and state governments throughout Iowa.
“Nursing facilities are not equipped to handle (COVID-19). A facility in a city of 1,500 cannot be expected to be staffed to provide the level of care that CDC guidelines propose,” he said.
When asked why he wouldn’t comment as medical director, Hurst said he couldn’t speak to day-to-day patient care as he doesn’t work onsite.
Wyant said Oakland Manor must correct the violations or risk losing the license and shut down.
“What we really hope to see from this is to see the corporate office really step up and take some reforms; implement these infectious control practices immediately, immediately help the facility staff in the way they should be helped,” he said.