NEW INFO: State Cites GlenCare With 5 Violations

A Mount Olive assisted living facility where five residents have died of Hepatitis B has been cited by the state for violations.

To date a total of eight residents of GlenCare have been diagnosed with the highly contagious disease, five of those have died since August. In a report last week, the Division of Public Health said the likely blame for the outbreak was "as a result of unsafe blood glucose monitoring practices."

The Division of Health Service Regulation cited GlenCare for one Type A Violation, and four Type B Violations. The company could be fined between $1,000 and $20,000 for the Type A Violation. The state has yet to determine the exact amount of the fine.

The state says the facility failed to train three medication aides for blood glucose monitoring. It also says during confidential interviews that staff revealed there was only one lancing device at the facility until October 11th. Another staff member told the state that they complained to a supervisor who replied "they did not have individual supplies and it had always been this way."

The report says a staffer told regulators that they only disinfected the glucometers and lancing pens when it looked like there was something on them.

The 19 page report also cited several examples what is says are residents not receiving appropriate care. The report says the facility failed to assure that residents received appropriate care when it came to infection control measures.

It also says one staff member was "nasty" to two women residents and even cursed one of them out in their room so loud that visitors heard, staff and other residents heard it down the hall.

In another case the report says a resident was forced to ride her motorized wheelchair to a downtown church for an AA meeting because she could not get into the facility's vehicle. That van drove alongside the wheelchair to the church. Once at the meeting, it was discovered the church didn't have handicap access and she had to wait outside. The report says the woman then rode her wheelchair back to GlenCare, with their van alongside.


Previous Story

The Division of Health Service Regulation has ordered the operators of Glen Care assisted living facility in Mount Olive to take immediate steps to ensure the health and safety of their residents while the state continues their investigation into a Hepatitis B outbreak at the facility.

Six steps outlined in the plan of correction include the facility immediately developing and implementing procedures for infection control measures.

Fines for a Type A violation range from $1,000 to $20,000 for homes licensed for seven or more beds.


Previous Story
A state report says the likely cause of a deadly Hepatitis B outbreak at a Wayne County assisted living center was from blood testing.

Five residents of GlenCare of Mount Olive have died since August and another three have tested positive for the disease.

In a report issued Friday, the Division of Public Health says the outbreak was likely caused "as a result of unsafe blood glucose monitoring practices." The report says it is not possible for the state to determine how the illness entered the facility in the first place.

Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease that is typically transmitted by exposure to blood or body fluids.

The report says investigators observed glucometers stored together in a single compartment drawer in a medication cart at GlenCare and there were no obvious labels with resident names. They also observed multiple-use adjustable lancing devices kept in a drawer in boxes labeled with resident names.

In its report the state recommends that GlenCare assign separate glucometers to individual residents, consider storing glucometers in a secure area in the resident's room to avoid accidental use by other residents, glucometers should be cleaned and disinfected after each use, and strongly consider using single-use lancets that permanently retract upon puncture.

The Division of Health Service Regulation has been doing its own investigation into the outbreak. That agency will decide whether GlenCare faces any disciplinary action for the deaths and that report should be available next week.


Previous Story

State officials reported Thursday that five people have now died after a hepatitis outbreak at an assisted living center in Wayne County.

State health officials originally reported four had died, but a fifth passed away in the last week. Officials say three other people got sick.

A preliminary report from the state is expected Friday, which could detail how the disease was transmitted.

GlenCare of Mount Olive made the first public comment about the deaths Thursday morning. Only two television stations were allowed to stay on the property for a news conference. WITN, three others from Raleigh and a radio station were told by police to leave.

WITN and other media outlets were able to obtain handouts from the press conference given by GlenCare.

The handout for GlenCare reports the center received a visit from the local and state health department on October 13, informing the center the hospital had alerted them about three residents who were diagnosed with Hepatitis B.

The handout reports on October 14, another patient was sent to the hospital. On October 15, according to the handout, local and state health officials came to the center and informed the center it had an outbreak of hepatitis.

The handout states surveyors from DHSR, which is the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, contacted the center 16 days after its investigation was complete and said the center was in "immediate jeopardy" because five medication techs told officials they used the same pen on several residents.

The "pen" referred to in the handout is used for finger sticks for medical testing.

The handout also states the center "should have been told immediately that 5 of 5 Med Techs stated they had used the same pen on several residents -- not 16 days later."

The handout from GlenCare also states: "We asked for the names of the Medication Techs who admitted to using the same pen on several residents and DHSR refused to give us these names stating that the interviews were confidential."

The handout goes on to state the center then contacted all the Med Techs and asked them about the DHRS investigation and interviews.

The handout reports "All of the Med Techs stated over and over that they did not ask for a confidential interview and they did not say that they used a pen on several residents. The Med Techs that admit to being interviewed are mostly long term Med Techs with experience ranging from 1 year up to 12 years and have been surveyed by DHSR for years during annual inspections and at least 6 years as GlenCare employees using the same blood glucose monitoring. In fact, all the of the Med Techs stated they had never seen any other Med Tech use the same pen on various residents."

The handout said in lieu of terminating all the Med Techs as the investigation continues, registered nurses are monitoring their actions.

The handout focuses at various points on timing of notifications and investigations.

"We were not notified of the cause of death of our residents until 10/13/10 when the health department first visited the facility. The first resident expired on August 30, 2010. Often the facility does not receive a complete list of resident diagnosis upon admission or readmission from transferring medical facilities. The health department investigators are aware that these residents have gone to other medical facilities on numerous occasions, 2 residents were to the dentist, several were seen by the podiatrist and most of them received home health nursing procedures. We have not received anything in writing from the health department as of this date regarding their findings however they have identified diabetes as a common thread."

To view the handout from GlenCare, click on document link at the top of the story.

According to officials, there are a total of eight confirmed cases of Hepatitis B at the facility.

Tests were offered to everyone at the facility, along with former residents since January. The Division of Public Health says it hopes to have its investigation into how the cases were transmitted by early next week.

Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease that is typically transmitted by exposure to blood or body fluids. So far public health officials have not pinpointed the cause of the infections.


Previous Story, from October:

State health officials are investigating an outbreak of Hepatitis B in which four patients have died at a Wayne County assisted living center.

At the current time, a total of six residents at Glen Care of Mount Olive have come down with the disease since late-August. The center is now providing testing for all residents and letters have gone out to all residents and families.

State public health officials are recommending that all residents of the facility be vaccinated to prevent any future Hepatitis B outbreaks.

“We are working with facility staff to ensure that any residents or staff who may have been exposed receive proper care and to prevent any further spread of the virus,” said Dr. Jeff Engel, State Health Director.

The facility was last inspected by the Division of Health Service Regulation on April 12th and no violations were found. Glen Care was given a 3 star rating, out of four. Facilities must have two consecutive 100% or greater ratings to obtain four stars.

Hepatitis B is a blood-borne disease that is typically transmitted by exposure to blood or body fluids. So far public health officials have not pinpointed the cause of the infections.

“Based on our experience in similar settings, we believe the illnesses may be associated with healthcare delivery but are also investigating other possibilities,” Engel said. “This should be a reminder for other long term care facilities to review their infection control practices and make sure they're doing everything they can to protect residents from infection.”


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by concerned administrator on Dec 1, 2010 at 08:41 AM
    they give everyone in the assisted living business a bad name they should be shut down. we run very nice and caring facilities that act above and beyond the states regulations they make us look bad!!!!!!!
  • by Marie on Nov 18, 2010 at 07:26 AM
    I HAVE WORKED IN THE HEALTHCARE FIELD FOR OVER 30 YEARS. WHAT GRIEVES ME IS IF OUR STATE REGISTERED NURSES OBSERVED A MEDICAL TECHNICIAN USING THE SAME DEVICE TO OBTAIN BLOOD SUGAR SAMPLES---WHY---DIDN'T THEY REPORT THERE FINDINGS TO THE PROPER PERSON, SO THEY COULD GET THESE TECHNICIANS OFF THE MEDICATION ROUNDS?????? IN MY OPINION THE STATE REGISTERED NURSES SHOULD TAKE SOME OF THE BLAME IN THIS SITUATION. THIS SHOULD BE A LEARNING LESSON TO THE STATE INSPECTORS..PLEASE TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY YOU MAY SAVE ANOTHER RESIDENT FROM HARM, IF INFACT THIS IS THE WAY IT WAS SPREAD. HOWEVER, I HAVE MY DOUBTS SINCE THERE WAS SUCH A DELAY IN THE PROCESS.
  • by Curious on Nov 18, 2010 at 06:53 AM
    I don't understand why the state didn't take some action if they observed a medication tech not following procedures for checking blood sugars. There should have been some immediate action taken. The state knew lives were in danger and did nothing to stop it.
  • by Concerned Citizen on Nov 18, 2010 at 06:51 AM
    What concerns me is, why if the state observed the Medication Technicians were not doing the blood glucose monitoring correctly, why they didn't stop this immediately? They knew there was a hepatitis B outbreak, why didn't they stop them and report it? Why wait 2 weeks later to report this, and still not name who they are so that their actions could be handled appropiately? I would hope that our state inspectors would have more concern for the residents well-being, and stop these unsafe practices when they first observed it.
  • by concerned citizen Location: Somewhere in NC on Nov 17, 2010 at 03:07 AM
    To Kent,Glencare isnt the only alf there is!I wouldnt leave my dying dog in these peoples care I know first hand that they are all about money not your loved one!!There is good ALF's here in NC you just have to do your homework!!I am a medication aid (10 years) and there is no excuse for what has happened!That could have been your loved one!They NEED Shut down or new owners!!All their facilities are the very same they have nothing but dishonest people working for them as well as them selves!Our ederly patients deserve much more then what Glencare is ever going to do for them!!STATE NEEDS TO OPEN THEIR EYES TO THIS AND PUT THEM OUT OF BUSINESS NOT JUST IN GOLDSBORO BUT ALL OF THEIR MANY FACILITIES!!
  • by kent stout on Nov 16, 2010 at 07:26 PM
    no , it cant be the end of this place. my MIL is there and if they close I will end up having to take her in, NOOOOOO Dont close it............
  • by teacher man Location: Ayden on Nov 16, 2010 at 05:20 PM
    This place needs to be closed immediately! What a blatant disregard for rules and regulations. It also sounds as if many of the staff members were not qualified for their positions!!
  • by Jodie Location: An ALF somewhere on Nov 16, 2010 at 04:23 PM
    Med techs are actually the ones that are trained and have to pass a course. Med Aides are the ones in the assisted living facilities that just pass a very simple test. The lancing device was what was being reused not the "lancet" itself. Money hungry? Oh yes. But this situation could be the ruination of them. Check the Wilmington news sites and look up GlenCare of Wilmington. They have had major problems over the last year also. That facility and this facility were "managed" by family members who were NOT licensed administrators. This is not going to be a slap on the wrist. This could very well put them out of business.
  • by Resident Location: Greenville on Nov 16, 2010 at 02:46 PM
    It seems from the report there was one device to put the needle in, not one needle. I don't know that there has ever been a rule to clean the lancet device between fingersticks, just put in a new lancet (needle) when another patient was stuck for the drop of blood. It may change how all institutions look at sanitizing the device between sticks.
  • by John Location: Mt. Olive N.C. on Nov 16, 2010 at 09:32 AM
    It's Sad that these people died, and could have been prevented by spending a little of their money,instead of pocketing it..
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