Survey is over! Now what?

Preparing for survey

Let’s face it- inspection time is extremely stressful! No matter how much you have prepared or how long you have been in the “industry” when an inspector shows up to your community it can be a nerve-wracking experience. In the state of South Carolina, the DHEC can show up anytime they see fit to conduct an inspection of every nook and cranny of the facility. Be prepared, be cordial and be open with inspectors and you will certainly have a much better experience.


  1. Inspections/Investigations.
  2. Inspections by the Department shall be conducted prior to initial licensing of a facility and subsequent inspections conducted as deemed appropriate by the Department. (I)
  3. All facilities are subject to inspection/investigation at any time without prior notice by individuals authorized by the S.C. Code of Laws. When staff members/volunteers/residents are absent, the facility shall provide information to those seeking legitimate access to the facility, including visitors, as to the expected return of staff members/volunteers/residents. (I)
  4. Individuals authorized by S.C. law shall be allowed to enter the facility for the purpose of inspection and/or investigation and granted access to all properties and areas, objects, and records in a timely manner, and have the authority to require the facility to make photocopies of those documents required in the course of inspections or investigations. Photocopies shall be used only for purposes of enforcement of regulations and confidentiality shall be maintained except to verify the identity of individuals in enforcement action proceedings. The physical area of inspections shall be determined by the extent to which there is the potential impact/effect upon residents as determined by the inspector, e.g., flammable liquids unsecured in a staff member’s bedroom, attic, or basement. (I)
  5. When there is noncompliance with the licensing standards, the facility shall submit an acceptable written plan of correction to the Department that shall be signed by the administrator and returned by the date specified on the report of inspection/investigation. The written plan of correction shall describe: (II)
  6. The actions are taken to correct each cited deficiency;
  7. The actions are taken to prevent recurrences (actual and similar);
  8. The actual or expected completion dates of those actions.
  9. Reports of inspections or investigations conducted by the Department, including the facility response, shall be provided to the public upon written request with the redaction of the names of those individuals in the report as provided by 1976 Code Sections 44-7-310 and 44-7-315.
  10. In accordance with 1976 Code Section 44-7-270, the Department may charge a fee for plan inspections, construction inspections, and licensing inspections.


Pro Tip:

  • Work with the surveyor and their team’s needs
  • Be professional and try to develop a rapport with the surveyor
  • Be honest
  • Use their feedback to make needed changes to your facility

Remember, they are not here to hurt your facility. They are there to make sure we as operators are doing all we can do to ensure residents are being cared for in the best way possible.