The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) periodically conducts unannounced surveys of its licensed agencies. As such, Plymouth Harbor’s Smith Care Center (SCC), our licensed skilled nursing facility, is surveyed every year. Our assisted living facility, formerly located on the Callahan Center (CC) level, and our home health agency are surveyed on average once every two years.

The unannounced survey of SCC tends to be the most intense, with four to six surveyors onsite for a period of three to five days. Throughout the survey, there are over 200 rules and regulations checked for compliance and a whole host of items these surveyors review for building safety. The outcome is used as one of three components to our national 5-star rating.

Plymouth Harbor has done very well in SCC the last several years, and has done particularly well in the last two years — which were deficiency-free for health care and health care documentation, cleanliness, and food service-related issues. Deficiency-free surveys (particularly two in a row) are extremely rare. According to Joe Devore, Vice President of Health Services, three or less deficiencies is considered to be a great survey, as long as none of the deficiencies are of a serious nature. Overall, these survey outcomes help Plymouth Harbor solidify our strong national 5-Star rating. (Plymouth Harbor scores in the best category, with only 10 percent of skilled nursing facilities nationwide.)

Not to be outdone, it should be noted that the Callahan Center’s last three surveys (April 2014, February 2016, and December 2017) each had a deficiency-free outcome. Additionally, our home health agency’s last two surveys (September 2014 and February 2017) were also deficiency-free. All of these surveys took place under Home Care Administrator Liz Clark’s leadership, and she and her staff are to be commended.

While we hope to never get to the point where deficiency-free surveys become an unrealistic expectation, we should certainly be proud as an organization to have earned such high marks. One thing that Joe Devore emphasizes to his staff, above all, is that the foundation of any great survey is happy residents. AHCA certainly recognizes this at Plymouth Harbor!