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Village Shalom Gets High Marks In Kansas State Survey

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 Village Shalom received high marks in its recent annual survey conducted by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS). In fact, it was Village Shalom’s “best survey ever,” said President and CEO Matthew Lewis.

Every 12-15 months, Village Shalom is visited by a team of KDADS inspectors who spend up to five full days examining every aspect of the retirement community’s practices, procedures and overall resident environment. The rigorous review is required of every senior-adult care facility in the state — some 350 in all.

Village Shalom ranked exceptionally high with only three deficiencies – none of them related to resident-care issues, explained Director of Nursing Renee Schoonover. “That is pretty unusual,” she said, adding that in typical surveys of nursing homes throughout the state of Kansas, the average number of deficiencies ranges from seven to 10.

“It’s a very thorough survey, as it should be,” noted Chief Operating Office Karin McCrary. “The fact that we had no citations for care issues is a huge achievement on our part.”

The KDADS survey covers every aspect of a facility’s operations, including patient care; documentation of every kind; kitchen and dining services (food temperature, presentation, preparation, service and storage); a complete review of medications and medical charts; and a detailed tour of the facility to determine any structural or safety issues. The surveyors also conduct interviews with staff, residents and family members.

Annalyne Muttai, registered nurse, (left) and Mentwab Melese, certified medication technician, are shown updating resident information on computers after Village Shalom’s 2014 conversion to electronic medical records. Documentation was one of the many elements reviewed in depth during the recent KDADS annual survey.

Overall, the three deficiencies for which Village Shalom was cited “were isolated and low risk,” McCrary explained. “And we have already submitted our correction plans for all of them.”

McCrary and Schoonover both applauded the Village Shalom staff for their help in moving the survey process along smoothly. “Everyone on the team pulled together,” said McCrary. “Some staff members even stayed late a few evenings to be available to answer the surveyors’ questions.”

That this year’s survey went so well is particularly notable given the challenges Village Shalom encountered since its last survey just over a year ago, remarked McCrary. “We went electronic (making a complete changeover to electronic medical records); we had a pretty traumatic year in the aftermath of the shooting (in April on the Village Shalom campus); we have a new Director of Nursing, Assistant Director of Nursing and MDS (minimum data set) coordinator (who helps to assess and devise resident care plans). We also have a new food service provider, Morrison Senior Living. They did a fantastic job throughout the survey process. With everything Village Shalom has been through, to have the best survey we’ve ever had just speaks volumes.”

So does the attitude with which Village Shalom’s employees approach the work they do – regardless of the presence of state surveyors, commented Schoonover. “A number of staff members told me, ‘We’re just going to take care of our residents like we do every day. We love our residents, we love what we do, and we do this for our residents, not for the survey.’”