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Northeast Florida nursing homes hit hardest by COVID-19 were cited before outbreak

Heartland Health Care Center Orange Park, Governor’s Creek Health & Rehab both flagged by health inspectors

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heartland Health Care Center Orange Park and Governor’s Creek Health and Rehabilitation in Green Cove Springs are reporting the biggest outbreaks of the novel coronavirus among nursing home facilities in Northeast Florida, and the News4Jax I-TEAM found both facilities have been flagged by health inspectors for multiple issues including infection prevention and control, even before COVID-19.

Heartland Health Care Center Orange Park has reported 31 confirmed coronavirus cases among residents.

The I-TEAM found that the government collects inspection reports for every nursing home in the country that are certified by Medicare and Medicaid. The information is available to anyone on the Medicare website, complete with data on complaints and citations. Facilities are rated on a scale of five stars.

Heartland Health Care Center Orange Park has an overall rating of two stars out of five, or below average. The data shows the center received one star out of five for its health inspection rating, or much below average.

The data shows in 2019, the center received six citations including:

  • Failure to safeguard and maintain medical records
  • Failure to provide appropriate treatment and care
  • Failures to have enough nursing staff to meet resident’s needs

The I-TEAM found that in 2018, Heartland Health Orange Park was cited for its failure to implement an infection prevention and control program over how a nurse didn’t wash her hands after caring for a patient’s wound.

At Governor’s Creek in Green Cove Springs, there are currently 26 residents and 15 staff members who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Governor’s Creek Health and Rehabilitation in Green Cove Springs.
Governor’s Creek Health and Rehabilitation in Green Cove Springs. (Google Maps)

News4Jax found that Medicare rates the facility with an overall score of two stars out of five, or below average. The facility’s overall health inspection rating was also below average with two out of five stars.

Governor’s Creek received four citations in 2019 including:

  • Failure to provide and implement an infection prevention and control program

This citation was centered on how a housekeeper, dressed in PPE, was mopping the floors of patient rooms, but didn’t change the mop water in between each room, as well as the facility’s policy for cleaning the rooms of patients in isolation.

Other citations included:

  • Failure to disclose healthcare information with a resident, their family or their doctor
  • Failure to maintain and secure records

LINK: Medicare nursing home compare website


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