Thursday, May 11, 2017

AHS investigation discovers serious problems at Lacombe long-term care facility--Comments Post #4---------Three staff members at a Lacombe long-term care facility have been placed on leave after an internal Alberta Health Services investigation discovered training deficiencies, unsanitary conditions and a lack of safety around medications.------

AHS investigation discovers serious problems at Lacombe long-term care facility

Published on: May 9, 2017 | Last Updated: May 9, 2017 9:22 PM MDT
Lacombe Hospital
Three staff members at a Lacombe long-term care facility have been placed on leave after an internal Alberta Health Services investigation discovered training deficiencies, unsanitary conditions and a lack of safety around medications.
The health authority said Tuesday the Lacombe Hospital and Health Centre has been thoroughly cleaned. Education sessions have also begun for staff “to ensure they understand health service and accommodation standards for continuing care.”
A total of 75 residents live in the long-term care portion of the health centre, all of whom have been re-assessed.
AHS initiated a review and audit only after nursing students completing their practicums at the site came forward with problems they had witnessed.     
“We take these concerns very seriously and we responded quickly with our investigation and audits with support from Alberta Health,” Brenda Huband, chief health operations officer for central and southern Alberta, said in a written statement Tuesday.
The statement was released shortly after the Wildrose Party highlighted the issue during question period in the legislature and released leaked documents from the audit.
According to the documents, the investigation uncovered:
• Inconsistently updated care plans and patient charting;
• Incomplete fall risk assessments, dietary assessments, vital signs monitoring and wound care interventions;
• Deficient training for staff in infection control, medication management, dementia care, CPR, use of restraints, fall prevention and choking response;
• Improper security of private client information;
• Presence of expired aseptic supplies such as wound care products and catheters;
• Dirty products stored with sterile products;
• Used client razors left unattended, and tubs found to be dirty;
• Soiled linen and garbage found to be overflowing into hallways;
• Unsafe medication practices, including a client administering his own insulin when it was unclear if he was competent to do so;
• Medication rooms left unlocked;
• Poor documentation around whether clients had received required tooth brushing and bathing;
• Inconsistent practices to ensure safe water temperatures for bathing;
• High infection rates and antibiotic use.

According to the documents, the investigation uncovered soiled linen and garbage found to be overflowing into hallways. And much, much more.

Three staff members at a Lacombe long-term care facility have been placed on leave after an internal Alberta Health Services investigation...

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Sandra Christianson Sjogren Perhaps AHS should invest in an independent roaming Inspection and Audit Team to identify these cases of waste, fraud or abuse within their enormous system, to effect action to eliminate it. Might get some good ideas of how to do things better from some of the participants too.
Sharon Pollard I totally agree that they should do random checks on all their facilities like the Foothills in Calgary.
Margaret Peddie Swedish I agree & the checks should involve being present/ involved for a full shift not just a walk through. Get a broad picture & then followup!
Julie Ali And all audits should be posted on a government website so that we can see the results. This is done in Ontario along with critical care incidents so why not in Alberta? Could it be that the folks at Alberta Health and AHS do not want to impact third party business interests in the continuing care system? Why are the profits or the reputation of the continuing care providers more important than the public right to know about the problems at facilities where they have their families? Why is it that we are refused audit information when we FOIP it? Could it be that government does not want the public to know about the non-compliances? Could it be that the government of Alberta is more interested in protecting itself than in protecting residents in care?
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Kathy Richards SERIOUS FAILURES and problems at red deer MICHENER extendicare as well. My family has contacted AHS regarding ELDER ABUSE charges!!! VERY terrible practices by most of the untrained and unqualified staff caring for the very frail and sick.
Sarrah Russell Please keep pushing. This needs to stop now!!! Better trained staff are needed.
Sandy Lee Gordon I agree fully my dad was there for eight weeks and the horrible practices that we witnessed and medication abuse terrified us as a family and many others that had loved ones there too. We defiantly made formal complaints about that facility. The building and set up was amazing though.
Julie Ali Better be careful. Retribution is the result of yapping about problems. Banning, evictions, lawsuits follow.
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Lorraine Oberg My question is " why in the hell was this allowed to happen?" Is this a PRIVATE run business and not government? If the answer is "yes" then the answer is right there.... never ever should child day cares or senior centres of any kind be run privately!!! For private $$$$$$$$$$ is the priority. If they can't pay the lease the funds are taken from the HR fund,,, decrease the staff or hire unqualified and pay them less. I know... I went thru this with my mom. Even the good private facilities are by any means adequate!!!!
Sarrah Russell Maybe trained staff for one, taking in account that all members are required to run a facility and that proper managers are needed in place to ensure the work is getting done to standard and lets not forget where are the inspections that are suppose to take place annually to ensure that those managers are held accountable... This isnt a private issue this is a whole system that has failed!!!!
Yesterday at 12:16pmEdited
Megan Whitten The lacombe ltc facility is a ahs run facility and not priviate
Julie Ali Sarrah Russell System wide failures are tolerated. I was told in my sister's case that I am expecting an idealized care program for her that does not exist. Interestingly once my sister ended up in another faciity with an appropriate care plan that is managed by AHS staff on site she is doing fine. It's curious the excuses that the system comes up with to explain the failures that are entirely due to poor staff:resident ratios, lack of training, lack of oversight by AHS/Alberta Health, lack of interest of the executive staff at the health authorities and lack of penalties.
Julie Ali Megan Whitten Non-compliances occur at both private (not for profit as well as for profit) and public facilities. What is really curious is why the problems at these places aren't picked up with the auditing done by AHS and Alberta Health. Why do we have nursing students and families reporting non-compliances to the standards of care?
Or do the facilities clean up their act before a scheduled audit?
I wonder if the audits done by AHS and Alberta Health in this case are quality reviews. This type of audit seems to be done after many complaints by citizens and we never actually find out what the resultts are. I've not been given the Quality reviews done by AHS and Alberta Health on a facility I complained about.
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Darlene Mayer Wow Good for the students...reading posts of Staff complaining for yrs and having it turn on deaf ears is so wrong...Well now that there is an investigation hopefully things will get where they should be!!! .
Sterling Graham then if these issues have been taken care of,why did my 95 year old mother in law,who has dementia and parkinson desease,,fall and break her leg,where the bone came out through the flesh,and had to be taken to the red deer hospital and be operated on,yesturday,may 9,if the staff that is suppose to be looking after people like this,were doing there job,then this wouldnt of happened,a few months ago her shins were,stripped of flesh,because whoever was taken her off the toilet,didnt pay attention when she screamed in pain,so we were told,we seen the flesh wounds,and this wouldnt be the first time that laundry was laying around,either,who ever is in care of this facility,should be fired,but some union rep will get it swept under the rug,with some,BS excuse,as well as alberta health will protect the management,who are not union members.
Lynnette Paice I totally agree with the previous comments about doing random investigations into hospitals, long term care facilities, etc. AHS is paying these "professionals" for their knowledge and abilities, and some of them display very little knowledge or motivation to properly care for the patient. All you have to do is stay with a loved one in their room and observe. In fact, I have said many times that there should be patient advocates hired by the hospital to ensure that the rest of the staff is actually doing their job. I live near Hines Creek, AB, and the nearest hospital is in Fairview, AB, and I try to not go to the hospital there, instead I travel to Grimshaw, because of numerous incidents that have happened to myself and my family. I went so far as to complain to the head acute care nurse and got the brush off, nothing was ever done. I find it interesting that there are posters up in every facility regarding workplace verbal abuse will not be tolerated, etc. from patients to staff, however, it should be the other way around.
Linda Maschmeyer Absolutely right all the way through!
Julie Ali Even with complaints, very little changes. What is needed are penalties--fines and closures of facilities. It's the only way to get results.
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Stephanie Trotter This is all nothing new - in virtually every hospital location. 

Food Prep's don't gown and glove up, when they bring in your meal. Nurses say that if they don't touch anything that you did - it's all okay. Some nurses will/won't gown and glove up 
...See More
Yesterday at 8:23pmEdited
Brenda Flinkman Olson I hope I never have to go to one of these will wear a diaper whether you can use the bathroom or not because they are too short staffed to take you and you might fall so you shall sit in your urine or worse until someone cleans you. Not on my bucket list 😐
Emily Averes Thank God for the student Nurses reporting these deplorable conditions. Makes me wonder how the "experienced " staff could allow this to happen. They should remember that one day they could be in a Care facility and I would guess they would want better care 😶. Shame on them!!!!
Angie L Rentz The "experienced staff" probably made the students do everything while the "experienced staff" sat around and did nothing. And as relation the students had lots of time to write the whole system up. Shame on these "experienced staff" for allowing these elderly pioneers for being subjected to these kinds of conditions. It's places like these that give every care facility a bad name.
7 hrs
Julie Ali Angie L Rentz You have to understand that if you work in the system you get inured to the horrors. And what happens if you do complain? You can face retribution. This is to say it's best to keep your mouth shut, do the best you can do and hope that someone else like a family advocate complains so that the family advocate can get banned rather than be fired or otherwise impacted. Most nursing staff have to pay the bills and I don't think their employers will look too kindly on them going to AHS or PPIC and yapping. The pathetic PPIC legislation says there is no retribution for complaints but then why do nurses like Ruth Adria of the Elder Advocates of Alberta Society get sued for such complaints? It's all about silencing the lambs in Alberta so you can see why nurses don't want to jeopardise their careers for seniors.
Reply33 mins
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Michelle Finch its been going on for a long time. unfortunately when it is reported it doesn't go anywhere. focus is on the job at hand. the work load of a NA is too much to be expected. 16 residents is abuse. should be 5 per staff. i can no longer work in this field. watch too many blind eyes. also allowing unqualified staff is not fair. things were revamped and did nothing. its time for the families to go way up the ladder. we would of lost our job if we did. so unfair quality of life. i miss it dearly and was an extremely proud NA
Julie Ali Families do go up the ladder of power right up to the Premier's Office and there is nothing done. It's pretty clear to me that the GOA talks a nice talk but the reality is quite different. Retribution is present and has been with the PCs introducing the Trespass to Premises legislation that bans advocates. If the banning does not work (there is no appeal) there is always evictions and lawsuits. Families are burnt out and the general public doesn't know, doesn't care and won't be yapping because of retribution.
22 hrs
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Judi Zelmer-Bishop If all these allegations are accurate, I am at a loss for words to convey my sickening response!!!! One or two would be cause for concern, but this litany of unsafe , immoral behaviour extends far beyond description. Have to wonder, was everyone turning a blind eye to these blatant disregard for acceptable care in ANY facility. Did it take nursing students who felt free of reprisal to blow the whistle?? Which ever way you view this positively disgraceful situation, you can't come away with at the least, a very bitter taste in your mouth, & a whole lot of questions in your mind!! The victims of this abhorrent behaviour are the weak & disabled, be it physical or mental. Shame on all who had a knowing part in this nasty situation! Get your act together....sooner than later!!!!
Julie Ali If you could only see the audits.
Tracy Tingey Julie, audits are freely available to all members of the public.
Reply21 hrs
Julie Ali Tracy Tingey Actually they are not. I made a FOIP request for the audits for one facility and was denied the Quality audits by AHS and Alberta Health. We were told that despite the FOIP legislation these bodies could restrict what information is given out. In any case you have to pay for information; in Ontario these audits are put out on a website. Why not in Alberta? Even the accommodation audits are put up for a short time and then taken off. It's hard to keep track of non-compliances if government is taking off information as soon as it can. It's interesting to see how quickly information disappears in AHS.
Reply30 mins
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Jack Meyer It seems AHS is not doing its job again, just like in Cold Lake where a facility has not passed the tests more than 4 times and the AHS, allows the private facility to work with staff that are not the staff they had before. The place said they are doing well with un-unionized staff, as the company refuses to bargain and know that the people could our parents.
Julie Ali Not only AHS is failing in the work of oversight. Alberta Health is failing as well. AHS is simply the tail wagging on the dog that is barking that these situations are taken very seriously . Yeah right. If they are taken so seriously why do families and nursing students have to provide the information to the government that their own auditing teams aren't providing?
Reply28 mins
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Judy Banning not underfunded just mismanagement of funds received from tenants.......its management thats the problem, just counting $$ and not giving it back to the reason they are there is the first place to provide the necessary dedication to these facilities - so sad our elderly are demoted to next to nothing thinking they are in a better place - so sad, clean up your acts you might have to live there when you are reduced to nothing too :o(
Reply12 hrs
Marcy Klassen I worked at this facility for 4 years and I was fired while waiting for a knee replacement, while on WCB, they wanted me to go on pain killers and resume modified work duties, I said no to the 5th time of modified duties, as my knee was getting worse and was scared of falling. I feel for the seniors here, my heart goes out to them. It was worse then jail.
Eileen Reid This is what happens when you sell facilities to private owners I'm not sure if this is a privately owned facility but obviously Alberta Health Services took their eye off the ball shame on our government
Denise Scherrer This facility is not private. It is Alberta Health. But i know of private facilities that have untrained staff and unsafe conditions for staff and Residents.
23 hrs
Julie Ali Denise Scherrer It is true that problems occur at both private (not for profit plus for profit) facilities and at public facilities. The only common denominator in this situation appears to be lack of oversight and interest by the government of Alberta.
Reply22 hrs
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Brenda Peachey disgusting and so scary as these places are getting more patients every day....they should all have unscheduled inspections to ensure proper care and cleanliness!
Julie Ali There needs to be more than unscheduled inspections--there needs to be continuous oversight and this means that there should be repeated auditing that is made public. We don't have any transparency unless the Wildrose release the audits. This is poor performance by AHS and Alberta Health. There is absolutely no reason to keep these audits private and ask citizens to pay for audits that they can then deny.
Reply26 mins
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Deana Thompson my husband spent three weeks there, I thought the nurses were great, he was in a private room because of infection and all was handled very well, I am an HCA
Julie Ali Sometimes the problems are that staff don't know how to manage some cases and so there are problems. Your husband may have insight and be able to articulate his needs; it's also clear to me that underfunding doesn't prevent profits from being earned so this must mean that residents don't get enough money allocated to them. This won't change because with both the private sector and public sector, care is now operating with too few well trained staff.
22 hrsEdited
Deana Thompson Julie Ali
Reply21 hrs
Deana Thompson understood, and agree, don't work in Lacombe but have been told at my work to just work faster.....faster does not mean safer or more careing. no one really listens, they tell, not listen, just writing this is something I would get reported for.....we'll see
Reply20 hrs
Julie Ali Deana Thompson It is very brave of you to speak. Retribution happens to nursing staff for speaking in public. I feel though that it is necessary for all professionals to speak about issues that impact vulnerable citizens who cannot speak for themselves. These are our most vulnerable citizens. We are short changing them and they have no power and no voice in our society. Government doesn't give a damn. The continuing care system talks a pretty talk but profits are being made while staff are rushing. If profits are not being made directly there are still assets being collected that increase in value for the not for profit organizations. So if everyone is benefiting why then can't the residents? I'll tell you why. They are completely at the mercy of the government, the health authority, the businesses and such like.
Reply23 mins
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Joyce Hamula And what is our health minister doing....????? IGNORING ...just like the bs that goes on at workers comp. SSDD
Yesterday at 10:33amEdited
Julie Ali She is telling us the super spin that she is grateful to the nursing students for alerting her auditing team at Alberta Health and AHS for failures to detect the non-compliances that the students were able to detect. Curious isn't it? Maybe we need to hire stay at home mummies and nursing students to do the auditing instead of professional bureaucrats.
Reply21 mins
Julie Ali "We are grateful that the students who were on the site did raise concerns and that AHS followed up immediately," said Health Minister Sarah Hoffman.
ReplyRemove Preview16 mins
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Lynne Kowalchuk Cut overpaid government big wigs wages..its ridiculous. More funding for Health care!
Yesterday at 10:34amEdited
Laura-Keith Etty Money keeps getting designated to Home Care. It is useless for dementia care. No family and it is usually a senior spouse has the ability, equipment and supplies needed for care let alone the 24 hour supervision care required. Most of the children work Or are too elderly themselves for the stress. 
So Government money needs to be direct resident care...not the top dogs.
Linda Maschmeyer Exactly - not just to general Health Care.
Julie Ali Laura-Keith Etty The directed money for home care is a pretty neat strategy by the federal and provincial governments to avoid the building of long term care facilities that are required for dementia patients and the complex care patients that are now in supportive living placements. It appears that long term care patients are being cared for at lower level of care facilities or in hospital waiting for a placement. 

I am curious how government will deal with the coming boom in dementia cases which --as you have pointed out cannot be handled by elderly spouses or burnt out families. I imagine that there is no dementia strategy of worth and that home care is being peddled as the alternative to SL4-dementia placements for families.
Reply23 hrs
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Karrie Daly Who hired these people?? Some of these violations are no brainers... get it together, my goodness.
May 9 at 11:40pm
Edd Wagil guess would be the same people that are supervisers at the facility. BUT....who gets released ????
Desiree Coulter-Egilsson Do you honestly think this is just a nursing issue, typical individual who has no idea how the healthcare system works. Less government money equals less money for health care which cuts nursing positions leading to decreased nursing care. You need to understand the system before you make judgements on people, just sickening. This is a very big picture issue
Linda Maschmeyer Whatever the cause is, we need to know the problems exist to pressure Government to get their priorities straight. This as described is unacceptable.
Julie Ali Linda Maschmeyer I think families have been asking for change in the continuing care system for ages but government has abdicated its responsibilities to the vulnerable.
Reply22 hrs
Julie Ali Desiree Coulter-Egilsson It is true that the continuing care system is underfunded. However there is no excuse for staff not knowing how to do the work or for the issues in infection control. These are our most vulnerable citizens and if professional staff don't know public health issues, can't make appropriate care plans or don't have enough time to update care plans then there needs to be staff complaints to management and then to AHS. If AHS and then Alberta Health ignore the complaints of staff then I guess they need to go public as these issues are public health and safety issues that the citizens need to be informed about.
Reply22 hrs
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Agnes Gushaty Did family members complain to AHS if not why not folks living there surely have family
Louise Consterdine I totally agree, Agnes. Although I imagine a certain proportion of older folk don't have family living nearby, there must have been some who visit regularly and noticed the conditions.
Linda Rideout Sometimes a family is labeled difficult if they complain too much. Then you worry about backlash to your loved one.
Julie Ali Retribution is sometimes associated with complaints. Evictions, banning, lawsuits.
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Jackie Morris Lacombe is probably not the only facility...someone should be monitoring all health care facilities!
Julie Ali Apparently the government of Alberta is doing audits but we don't get to see the results.
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Arlene Collins Old folks homes and for the disabled are scary!
Maureen Schwab Many Seniors Lodges are exceptionally well run and provide a comfortable home for many of our seniors all across the province
Stephanie Guzman Yeah, they only cost $5000 a month - that's nothing! 😒
Toni Seerden Stephanie Guzman There is a lot of privately run government subsidized housing available for seniors that is fabulous and affordable. Rents are geared to 30% of income and are for one- or two-bedroom apartments or lodging rooms. Meals and weekly cleani...See More
Nicole Caldwell The resources may be there but the waiting lists are incredibly high for the subsidized housing. The waiting lists are ridiculously high for any elderly person to get a bed at any facility.
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Amanda Simister Angiee Elliott Lacombe hospital is a no go for me now. 
Terry Ted I recently did meet a few staff from this facility and not surprised one bit theres problems
Deborah Peterson I disagree with being underfunded for sure. Everyone has to be diligent in being clean tidy and orderly
Ruth Maria Adria Underfunding results in understaffing, neglect, overmedication and warehousing of patients.
14 hrs
Donna Doran Disgusting. Is this how we take care of our sick and elderly citizens. For shame. Thank you student nurses for exposing this.
Joan Bender This is disgusting !
Bradley Schmidt How does this happen? Someone needs to be held accountable
Shari Manning So glad these students stepped up!!!
Dar Boyko Yikes. Not good.
Brenda Taschuk Kerr Now the others will have to clean up there act too
Reply23 hours ago
Wanda Turner Don't pick Lacombe seniors😣😣
Helen Atkinson SECURITY CHECK #3--+))))*()&*&^&%^^#
Lou Deets Disgusting
Danuta Verburg What's the solution?
Julie Ali More money directed at patients with accountability for this money; more training for staff; better staff:resident ratios legislated in so that there are proper levels of staffing, more support for staff in terms of integrated care teams with psychiatrists, specialists, psychologists, OT, PT, etc present to "mentor" underperforming facilities to compliance. We haven't got good oversight by AHS and Alberta Health. Transparency is nil unless the opposition parties release the audits to media. No one is interested in seniors issues in every political party. This is a problem because although everyone will get old no one thinks the problems seniors are experiencing will arrive at their doors. We need audits put out for the public and we need critical care incidents published as in Ontario. There needs to be random audits and there needs to be penalties. Just mentoring alone won't get change happening. Of course there is no interest at the GOA for this work. It's all about working together to maintain the system as is.
Reply13 hrsEdited
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Jack Meyer Seems the management must of known about this and probably looked the other way as doing something would of reduced the profit, and salary bonuses these big shots get. Seems we need to run through each and every place and check them out without warning them we are coming to see how and what you are doing with the money the government and the residents pay into the places and see if it is doing as it is required by law and by health standards.
Julie Ali Jack Meyer Seems like families and nursing students need to do random audits and contact the Wildrose.
Reply17 mins
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Sarah Rudkowski Holy. That's disgusting and not really shocking. It wasn't a pleasant place to work for even as little as 6 weeks
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