Tag Archives: health regulation

DHEC in the News: mosquito spraying, crisis stabilization unit reopens

Here’s a look at health and environmental news from around the state.

Mosquito spraying will begin soon in Williamsburg County:

…at least 61 different species of mosquitoes exist in South Carolina. The most common diseases that could potentially be carried by mosquitoes in South Carolina include: West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis virus, and dog/cat heartworm.

DHEC has granted a special waiver to allow The Charleston Dorchester Mental Health Center to reopen a facility aimed at keeping more non-violent, mentally ill patients out of jails and hospitals.

Existing regulations required all patients have a chest X-ray done at least 30 days prior to entering the crisis unit:

While the requirement still exists, DHEC has given the local facility, the only one of its kind in the state, a special waiver, Blalock said.
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Center officials are currently working alongside DHEC to acquire a “crisis stabilization” license, which the state doesn’t yet have.

For more news from DHEC, visit Live Healthy SC.

 

 

Health Regulation Team Honored for Outstanding Effort in Patient Safety Work

By Jim Beasley
photo above: Shelly B. Kelly, Yolanda Holloman, Tamara Grant, Barbara Brague and MaryJo Rooue

Sometimes, regulating leads to the need for swift action.

Emergency actions taken by DHEC Health Regulations staff following an unannounced complaint investigation at an ambulatory surgery center have earned recognition from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Their efforts also exemplified the agency’s core value of promoting teamwork.

It was April 2015 when registered nurses Tamara Grant and Yolanda Holloman from DHEC’s Bureau of Certification visited a site and found that the facility was placing its patients in “Immediate Jeopardy,” the formal term for a crisis situation in which the health and safety of individuals are at risk. Serious violations were found, including practices covering infection control and surgical services.

The team collaborated with the Bureau of Health Facilities Licensing and the Division of Acute Disease Epidemiology, finding several areas at the facility requiring an urgent plan of correction. Bureau of Health Facilities Licensing staff referred the center’s medical director for review by another state agency, while Division of Acute Disease Epidemiology staff conducted a contact investigation of patients and collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional guidance.

CMS Award_2

Eva Johnson, Lorie Sanders, Tamara Grant, Sandra Johnson, Barbara Brague and Yolanda Holloman

Barbara Brague, a registered nurse with the Bureau of Certification, helped guide the inspectors in the field during a situation that proved a challenging experience for all. She interacted with the other DHEC bureaus and worked closely with the CMS regional office to determine whether the facility’s correction plan was acceptable.

DHEC surveyors conducted follow-up inspections in May and June 2015 to verify that corrections were made and to ensure the facility complied with federal regulations and conditions.

This shining example of cooperation and collaboration among bureaus demonstrates the importance of communication across the agency and with our partners.

Congratulations to all staff involved in this extraordinary effort for helping to protect the health and safety of patients. The award is well-deserved.

Putting the Rad back in Radiological Health

By Jamie Shuster

Rad Health

Responsible for protecting the public health and safety of all South Carolinians, our Bureau of Radiological Health (BRH) works to safeguard against excessive exposure to radiation. As part of this effort, the Bureau provides oversight and regulatory guidance to mitigate potential hazards in environments, like X-ray, tanning facilities and facilities that utilize radioactive materials that use ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

The effects of radiation exposure and contamination can be severe, including acute radiation syndrome, skin burns, cancer, and emotional and psychological distress. Through working hands on with the regulated community, BRH Director Aaron Gantt and his team help to keep South Carolinians safe by ensuring all facilities that use radioactive materials, X-ray and tanning facilities, are registered, licensed, certified, and inspected.  Noted for their professionalism and customer services, the team often receives complements for the job they do upon inspections, responding to complaints/ incidents, phone calls, and emails.

Recently, the entire BRH team was applauded for their efforts by a Director of Radiology at one of the facilities that we help regulate. In an excerpt from a letter to the department, the director wrote:

“Your administrative staff on the switchboard, who is the first contact most callers get when they contact DHEC, is always friendly and helpful.  I have never had the opportunity to call SC DHEC when I have not received helpful advice. They are not obtrusive, are mindful of the work going on around them at the facility, and work with the staff to get their job done without holding up patient care.  I have never had hesitancy in telling my peers to call SC DHEC if they have questions. You guys are the “Good Guys”, out to help us maintain ALARA at our facilities in the best interest of our customers, our patients.” ​

Thanks to all of the members of our BRH team for your continued efforts to help protect the health and safety of South Carolinians.