Administrator Britteny DeVaizer of The Springs of Batesville said false information was given to The Batesville Daily Guard.
“All of the statements that were made – that were false – were made by that employee who had ‘quit due to the conditions.’ That employee had not been at our facility for two months, it was an employee that was termed (terminated), she had not quit on her own accord. So this was a disgruntled, former employee,” DeVazier said, during a Zoom conference call Monday morning.
“We are following all of our guidelines that the Arkansas Department of Health and the regulatory agencies have established for COVID-19 and infection control, protocols and procedures,” DeVaizer said.
She added she is in communication with families and staff on a day-to-day or as needed basis as the situation changes.
“If there is a change in condition, of course, that’s always communicated immediately with those family members. In the event we have newly positives, those family members get called. We do a stat update call, and all those are documented. I put out a Friday call, it’s a recorded message that I do, giving stats for our facility, and other information for those families,” DeVazier said.
She also wanted to state for the record that The Springs of Batesville has plenty of medical supplies and equipment.
“At no time has my facility not had any of the supplies that we needed. We have always had more than enough supplies, including our PPE equipment, including O2 concentrators, plenty of oxygen, so that was false information,” DeVaizer said.
“We also report, not only to our corporate office, on supplies weekly, but we audit and report that to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) on a portal. It asks many questions, and we have to make sure we report our supplies on that portal and we have not ever reported that we were lacking in supplies, because really to be honest, we have an overabundance of supplies,” DeVazier said.
The facility has a process for receiving deliveries, such as the boxes of N-95 masks that were sitting by the front door of the facility last week.
“Once it is delivered at the door, we use Microban and spray down any deliveries that we have out front, and let them sit and sterilize, and then we pull them in,” DeVazier said.
The Springs of Batesville is meeting minimum staffing requirements, which is regulated by the Office of Long Term Care, which is the Arkansas Department of Human Services regulatory organization for long term care facilities.
“In regards to staffing, this is an unprecedented time,” DeVazier said. “Every nursing home facility has been under staffing constraints of some sort, especially when you have COVID in your facility and some of your healthcare workers test positive. We do have a waiver that allows us to work asymptomatic staff on our COVID units. That waiver was approved by the office of Long Term Care. In the event the staff are symptomatic or we have someone who becomes symptomatic they are sent home, and if they are symptomatic they cannot work.”
The Springs at Batesville has 103 staff members and 31 are COVID positive. Ten staff members are symptomatic and at home. They are currently hiring certified nursing assistants (CNAs) and nurses.
“In any nursing home setting, we always say we could use more (staff) that’s just a given,” DeVazier said. “Right now, during this time when we don’t know what the future holds. We’re trying to get a good amount of staff members so when we do have ones that are sick, we can work with our schedule and still ensure that we have plenty of staff to take care of all of our patients and their needs.”
DeVazier said the Office of Long Term Care also conducted an infection control focus survey last week, which The Springs of Batesville passed with no deficient practices cited. Those surveys are usually conducted annually, but can be done randomly.
“Under the ADH guidance, when you have an outbreak that means no communal activities or communal dining. What we do is called doorway bingo, residents go to their doorways and play bingo in the non-COVID unit.” DeVazier said. On the COVID units, they have a cart with activities they offer to patients.
As of Monday there were a total of 69 residents at The Springs at Batesville facility and five were in the hospital. Six patients have recovered and moved off the COVID unit back into the general population. Forty residents are in the COVID units at The Springs at Batesville.
They are using the rapid-response, point-of-care antigen tests for both staff and residents.Under mandate from the ADH, the facility tests once a week, and then as needed to determine if someone is ill with the virus.
“As everybody knows, during this time, sometimes things change from day-to-day or weekly and we have to jump and make sure we get that education out and immediately start following it. Our staff is continuously educated on any new processes or any new directives that are handed out,” DeVazier said.