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Augustana Health Care Center is at top of the list

Well done.

A recently-completed state survey conducted by the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services gave high marks, very high marks to Augustana Health Care Center of Hastings.

The annual survey noted no deficiencies in the quality of care and services provided by the care center.

As far as Audrey Roche, director of nursing and who has been part of the care team for more than 30 years, can remembers, this is a first. Keep in mind with more than 400 areas/check points, the average number of deficiencies for a nursing home/care center is 12.

While both she and administrator Larry Vander Poel are proud of the results, they point to the team effort among the staff and the on-going, daily effort to provide quality care to residents at the facility.

"We're all working together here," said Roche.

"It's about valuing the integrity of the individual," said Vander Poel. "It's about the sense of ownership we have here."

The annual inspection is completed from nine to 15 months of the last inspection. The timing varies, but is always at least seven months from the last one, Vander Poel said. The inspection team's visit is unannounced and members can spend up to four days at the facility. A state fire marshal is always part of the team. This year's was July 19 to July 22.

The team members do a walk-through of the facility, talk to residents and staff, check all record-keeping, chart audits on residents, inspect each area, including kitchen, therapy unit, and housekeeping. As they complete each area, they document their findings.

With some residents needing extensive medical care, the inspection members pay particular attention to the procedures and how they are followed.

An exit interview is part of the inspection procedures. All staff members were invited. A written report is expected soon.

"They were so complimentary," said Roche. 'They commented how homelike it is here and the calmness of the building."

"We do hear from residents and their feedback is positive," said Vander Poel. "What we are basically do is following our policies and procedures to ensure quality care in a positive work environment. This is a team effort."

About 150 people work fulltime and parttme at the care center, and take pride in their work, he said.

"Every day we are ready for inspection," said Vander Poel. "That's what it is about."