State inspection of the Gregory Wing finds no deficiencies for second year running

Posted:  Wednesday, December 16, 2015 - 8:00am

For the second time in two years, state inspectors found no deficiencies during an unannounced inspection of the Gregory Wing at St. Andrews Village.

Cathryn Rayle, RN, director of nursing at the Gregory Wing, said the no-deficiency finding is a testament to the care provided by a dedicated group of nurses and certified nursing assistants who know their residents and work well with the other departments, including housekeeping, maintenance and dietary.

A team of four inspectors spent two-and-a-half days at the Gregory Wing interviewing residents and staff, inspecting the kitchen and other parts of the facility and going through medical records. By far the most important part of the inspection, however, was the interviews with the people receiving the care and those who provide the care.

“In my experience,” said Rayle, “when they come in and see the residents are happy, the staff is happy and the families are happy, you usually have a good result.”

Nursing homes are the most highly regulated industry in Maine with regulations covering nearly every detail of how care is provided, including how rooms are laid out, food is prepared and the laundry is done.

The state does unannounced inspections of every Maine nursing home once a year. The results provide valuable feedback for staff and are used by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s Services’ (CMS) Nursing Home Compare website, which rates the quality of care at different facilities.

The Gregory Wing has a five-star rating on all three categories used to calculate the overall rating – health inspections, staffing and quality measures – as well as five stars overall. According to the CMS website, a five-star rating indicates “much above average.”

A well-documented reputation for high quality care at the Gregory Wing is one reason for the construction of the Zimmerli Pavilion, a 12-bed expansion due to open in 2016. The dually-licensed beds will allow people from the Boothbay region to stay close to family and friends when they need either skilled rehabilitation or long-term care.

The Zimmerli Pavilion is named in honor of Rev. Dr. Mary Jo Zimmerli, a beloved minister and former LincolnHealth trustee who was committed to ensuring that high quality skilled care and long-term care remain accessible to people in the Boothbay region.

Behind the Gregory Wing’s reputation for quality care is a stable staff that knows each other and their residents, said Rayle.

“We have the best team that I have ever worked with and we all have different strengths,” said Rayle. “Housekeeping, maintenance and dietary, they all work together.”

Most of the nursing staff grew up together; even rode the school bus together and they work together extremely well, said Elizabeth Barter, RN, Clinical Nurse Manager at St. Andrews Village.

If one is unable to work a shift, another will cover for her, ensuring that the facility is always appropriately staffed.

Most of the residents are also from the area and staff will usually know them or their family, which makes the Gregory Wing function as a community within the larger community of the Boothbay region.

“I think it helps establish a bond and a trust with the families from day one. It gives them a level of comfort and trust,” said Rayle.