Courtland Health and Rehabilitation Center receives five stars for quality carePublished 11:36am Wednesday, October 9, 2013
SIDNEY MOORE/CONTRIBUTING WRITER
COURTLAND—Courtland Health and Rehabilitation Center has earned five-star status from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, formerly known as Health and Human Services, a federal regulatory agency that oversees nursing homes.
The criteria that formed the agency’s decisions with judging are staffing levels, annual inspection score and quality measures, such as how many people have skin breakdowns and infections. Based on this measurable criteria, a nursing home can rank anywhere from one to five stars, with five being the highest.
A total of 87 residents live at Courtland Health and Rehabilitation Center. The facility is able to house 90 people and has a full staff to see to their needs.
“To reach the five-star level is pretty sweet for the building,” said Anita Willis, the new administrator for the home. “It’s obviously something that you can market because you’re a five-star building. It’s an external quality indicator and an excellent morale booster for the staff.”
The new status isn’t etched in stone, though. It’s something that has to be constantly kept in check, because of strict governmental regulations that come with running a nursing home. Anything that reflects negatively on the nursing home will be used to downgrade the status.
“It’s like a roving target. If we had something which would get us a poor survey result it could possibly drop our status,” said Willis.
It’s the things like a positive staff and nurses like Winni Williams, the assistant director of nursing, who aims to keep the residents’ moods up and the building running. There are times when she may break into an impromptu dance and singing routine with the residents, she said.
“Nurses are responsible for not only passing out medications and doing wound care. They facilitate all the aspects of nursing,” said Williams. “Therapy is very hard for the nurses and the patients because the patients get angry and sometimes depressed. We have to act as counselors and motivators a lot of the time.”
She said commitment to service is a big deal between her and the other nurses. Knowing the positive impact they can have also helps keep people like Williams in the community, when she could make more money in a larger hospital setting.
“There was a lady here who just came in here the other night, and I hadn’t seen her in a long time. She was the reason I stayed here,” said Williams. “When I first came, she couldn’t walk. She’d had a major stroke that left her unable to do much of anything for herself.
She and I got really close. I was a part of helping her walk again. When she left here, she walked out that door. Then she came back to visit someone. I saw her and had tears in my eyes as I ran up to her and told her, ‘You’re the reason I stayed!’”