This is a follow up review to the above review of my grandmother's care. I filed a complaint with the Colorado Department of Health because I really feel for the current residents in Sterling Living Center, especially those who don't have family to advocate for them.
The State responded in a very timely manner to my complaint and kept me informed every step of the way. They performed an unannounced survey of the facility within 3 weeks of my complaint. Unfortunately, they were unable to substantiate any of the allegations because all they can go on once a patient is gone is the documentation, which was apparently bulletproof.
The most upsetting finding of the State survey to me is the fact that the bedsore my grandmother obtained due to the lack of nursing care is not documented in any of her charting. During my grandmother's stay we went to the Director of Nursing and she appeared very receptive. She told us that she was the wound care specialist and came in to check the bedsore shortly after we spoke. I remained in the room while she measured the wound, changed the dressing, and spoke with the staff about how it should be managed. But apparently this was all for show, as she never charted it either. The State could find no record that my grandmother had a bedsore while she stayed at the Sterling Living Center.
Either my mother or I was with my grandmother 24/7 for the last few days of her life, and the the staff very rarely (as in, maybe once a day) offered to turn her in bed. The only other times she was turned was when we specifically requested it. Yet, according to the State survey of the documentation, she was turned every two hours according to MD orders. Their documentation also shows that they put a barrier cream on her every shift, which I know for a fact did not happen AT ALL the first 3 days of her stay, and only happened during the last days when I specifically requested it.
It is extremely frustrating to me that apparently this facility is competent in one area only - documenting to cover their rear ends in case of a State survey. A great deal of time must be spent to train the nurses how to document quality care, rather than spending that time training them on how to actually provide quality care. And they apparently omit from their charting anything that would make the facility look bad, such as a pressure sore resulting from their negligent care.
If I had it to do over again I would take pictures of the bedsores as proof, and keep copies of all the documentation my family was keeping (med schedules, turning schedule, etc) because the cares weren't happening unless we did. Again, I would strongly discourage anyone from putting a loved one in this facility, and use it only as a last resort. And if there is no other option, I would recommend closely monitoring the care and documenting your monitoring in case you need to make a report later on.