Sections

Weather Forecast

Close
Advertisement
St. Luke's Home in Dickinson, pictured here Friday afternoon, recently had a ban on admissions following a survey by the health department.

St. Luke's ban lifted, admits residents

Email Sign up for Breaking News Alerts
News Dickinson,North Dakota 58602 http://www.thedickinsonpress.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/32/1024/0317-st-lukes-4-copy.jpg?itok=OuMRdYQR
The Dickinson Press
(701) 225-4205 customer support
St. Luke's ban lifted, admits residents
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

St. Luke's Home in Dickinson admitted residents this week, after 19 days of being forbidden to do so, stemming from an incident involving a resident who had a heart attack, officials said.

Advertisement
Advertisement

The ban, which was lifted March 6, was in place because surveyors found instances at the home which "constitute actual harm that is not immediate jeopardy" two years in a row, according to North Dakota Department of Health. The only other skilled nursing facility in Dickinson, St. Benedict's Health Center, did not receive that rating in the last two years.

St. Luke's representatives disagree with the findings, but have come back into compliance with standards.

"It really wasn't an actual harm," said Karen Boulden, St. Luke's administrator. "It was a matter of opinion."

She believes the findings are unfair.

"When the survey teams come, they take one snapshot out of space and time and they do with it what they will," Boulden said. "We have some very, very happy families here."

The nursing home got an "actual harm" rating in January because it failed to ensure a resident experiencing persistent chest pain received "appropriate care and services necessary to treat his medical condition," according to the survey.

The alleged negligence "delayed medical treatment and resulted in the resident being transferred to the hospital and being diagnosed with an acute myocardial infarction," according to the survey.

Andy Mejia, St. Luke's director of nursing, said he believes correct procedures were followed and the survey results were "surprising."

"In fact, they were very complimentary," Sara Krebs, St. Luke's social work designee, said of the survey team.

Boulden agreed.

"There was a dispute over medication," she said. "When it came back, all of a sudden it was 'actual harm.'"

Neither St. Luke's representatives nor the North Dakota Department of Health would say whether the resident in question died as a result of the heart attack. However, Krebs and Mejia said the resident, whose name was not released due to privacy laws, had a history of heart-related problems.

St. Luke's also contends the ban was placed on admissions because the health department did not return quickly enough after the survey was conducted.

"We had until the 17th (of February) for them to come back and they did not," she said. "So we did not get a chance to be in compliance. We would not have the ban on admissions if they had come back when they were supposed to."

Bruce Pritschet, North Dakota Department of Health director of the division of health facilities, said that is "not accurate."

"We did have a couple of days where we had illness and we couldn't get out there but that was long after the ban was in place," he said. "And when you have two surveys in a row with actual harm, it mandates us to put the ban in place."

The 2011 survey allegedly found two instances constituting "actual harm that is not immediate jeopardy."

One instance dealt with a resident who allegedly received the wrong consistency of food and fluids, which resulted in hospitalization.

The other was because interventions were allegedly not implemented to aid in the healing of residents with pressure sores.

"We're not the first facility to get a ban," Krebs said. "We won't be the last."

The ban made several people upset because they had to wait to get into St. Luke's, she said. Nine new residents were admitted to St. Luke's as of Thursday, bringing their headcount to 80, Krebs said.

Mejia said most nursing homes have compliance issues that need to be dealt with following health department surveys, and Pritschet agrees.

"Roughly 8 (percent) to 10 percent of the surveys done per year find the facilities in substantial compliance," Pritschet said.

St. Luke's representatives said the compliance issues allow for progress.

"Any nursing home can improve and you can go into any nursing home, anywhere, any time of day and if you dig hard enough, you can find something that happened because human beings work there," Boulden said.

"We're not the first facility to get a ban," Krebs said. "We won't be the last."

The ban made several people upset because they had to wait to get into St. Luke's, she said. Nine new residents were admitted to St. Luke's as of Thursday, bringing their headcount to 80, Krebs said.

Mejia said most nursing homes have compliance issues that need to be dealt with following health department surveys, and Pritschet agrees.

"Roughly 8 (percent) to 10 percent of the surveys done per year find the facilities in substantial compliance," Pritschet said.

St. Luke's representatives said the compliance issues allow for progress.

"Any nursing home can improve and you can go into any nursing home, anywhere, any time of day and if you dig hard enough, you can find something that happened because human beings work there," Boulden said.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement