DEARBORN — The Oakwood Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center was given a rare zero deficiencies rating following a survey of the facility in July by the Michigan Bureau of Health Services.
The outcome was a first for the facility which has undergone annual surveys since it was certified in 1991.
Each year, Bureau of Health Services makes unannounced, four-day visits to nursing centers certified by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services to determine their compliance with federal regulations.
“They can show up at any time of the day or night,” said Carl Cottrill, facility administrator. “This year the state’s team of nurses arrived before 6 a.m. on a Tuesday morning in late July to begin an intensive survey of all aspects of our processes, procedures and safety.”
According to surveys published annually, nursing homes in Michigan currently receive an average of 8.3 deficiencies per annual survey while the U.S. average is 6.8 deficiencies, also referred to as “citations.” Only 3 percent of facilities in Michigan attain the level of zero deficiencies.
“It’s highly unusual for a facility as large as ours with 200 beds to earn this rating,” said Cottrill, who credited Director of Nursing Lorraine Lewis and her staff with the care they provide residents.
Residents and caregivers agreed.
Shirley Borsodi, 78, visits her husband, Carl Borsodi, 85, daily. He has been a resident of the facility for seven years following a debilitating stroke that limited his mobility and speech.
“I am so thankful he wasn’t taken from me seven years ago,” Shirley Borsodi said. “I can’t say enough about the staff and the residents, too. We are all family. They all work together.”
Despite her husband’s limited speech, Borsodi shared that every night before she leaves he tells her he loves her.
“I know that he’s well taken care of when I’m not there,” she said. “He is very loveable, and he knows he’s getting good care.”
For five years Terry Horn accompanied her mother, Kate Horn, 85, back and forth between the hospital and rehab. Two months ago her mother, who has dementia, became a resident in Oakwood’s Skilled Nursing area.
“In all the time of going back and forth, I never met anyone who didn’t try to help. They’re just fantastic people, and that’s the truth—from the housekeepers to top management,” Horn said. “I still visit my mom every day for three hours, because I miss her. She’s still my mom.”
Dearborn resident Elaine Gasser visits her husband, Eugene Gasser, 89, twice a day.
“I live close by so I come during lunch and dinner,”Elaine Gasser said. “We have a group of residents and family members who enjoy sitting together. We’re our own support group.”
Grateful for the positive comments, Cottrill maintains an album of thank-you notes that he and staff receive from short-term and long-term patients and caregivers. Sixty percent of the facility’s patients average a stay of four weeks for rehabilitation, while others require long-term skilled nursing care.
Since becoming facility administrator three years ago, Cottrill has placed increased emphasis on training and recruiting of more experienced and knowledgeable staff.
“We’ve put a lot of systems in place to ensure better patient care,” said Cottrill, who shared how the patient population is changing. “They’re coming with more acute illnesses. We have to be able to change with the times.
“We’ve set the standards high. Now we have to keep them there,” said Cottrill.
About Oakwood Rehab and Skilled Nursing Center
Oakwood Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center is on the 29-acre campus of Oakwood Common at 16351 Rotunda Drive. In addition to comprehensive rehabilitation and skilled nursing, Oakwood Common offers independent and assisted living apartments with exceptional amenities and services. For more information and to arrange tours, call 800-642-4663 or go to www.OakwoodCommon.org.