Risk Management Essentials for Nursing Homes
The United States has an expanding aging population. By 2030, most Americans are over 65 and are retiring from their work. In the next 10 years or so, residents availing of nursing home care will steadily increase. Thus, nursing homes should be ready when this happens. As early as now, your management should start planning and implementing gradually. By the time the influx of people needing long-term care comes into your facility, you’re ready.
Here are 5 ways to reduce risks in caring for elderly people in nursing homes.
Understand Various Liability Claims
The claims category may vary from one insurer to another. However, in a review of relevant and related data, there are three common types of liability claims.
First is the slip and falls, which account for 40% of all liability claims in nursing homes. Second is pressure ulcers (or bed sores), and lastly, negligent care. Negligent care includes improper handling of the patient’s medicine, dehydration, and malnutrition.
Aside from these, other common claims are abusing, assaulting, and violating the rights of the residents. When nursing home employees understand these liability claims and how these claims impact the reputation of the facility, they know how to become more careful.
It’s also important that you implement strict safety protocols. Extensive training and regular updates on these would be effective and efficient.
Document Slip and Fall Incidents
As you already know, slip and fall incidents are common claims filed by the residents or their families. So, you should document these incidents thoroughly.
Create a document tailored to the needs of your resident. There’s no such thing as one size fits all because every nursing home resident is unique.
Every prevention plan should take into account the unique predicament of the elderly. One plan may not be applicable for another elder person.
Keep all documents of slip and fall incidents, no matter how minor. Include witnesses if there are any. If a resident slips or falls, make sure to have him or her examined for injuries.
Implement Documentation Protocols
Aside from slip and fall, documentation on other health issues such as bed sores is a must. Nearly 20% of claims are related to this kind of long-term care risk. So, make sure your facility has strict protocols in documenting these issues.
A written document is excellent since it enumerates all necessary details. However, you should attach a photograph as part of the documentation. Written accounts of bedsores are subjected to different interpretations, but photographic representations are hard to dispute.
Also, train your staff on the proper way of documenting incidents and health issues discovered in nursing homes.
Ensure Right Levels of Staffing
Claimants often use the nursing home information against you. They look at how many employees are working in the facility.
When the claimants learn that your facility is understaffed, they often file a negligence claim. You can avoid these liability claims by evaluating your staffing levels regularly.
Hire a consultant if you must to ensure employee retention is high. The key here is to hire qualified individuals.
In the long term, you should also provide the right combination of employee benefits. Regular training is also a way of keeping your staff qualified.
Anticipate the Worst-Case Scenarios
When you anticipate the worst-case scenarios for your nursing home care facility, it doesn’t mean you’re being negative. The conservative approach is the best way of handling risks.
You should be proactive in handling issues. Don’t wait for an experience to amend a procedure in your facility.
This also means you should make sure your Nursing Home Insurance is comprehensive enough to protect your business from unexpected litigations.
Ask the help of a legal advisor in reviewing your insurance plans. This may entail additional costs, but the investment is worth it.
Read the fine print of your policy. You can find all information in the policy you might need in running your facility.
Ultimately, your goal is to mitigate risks, reduce the occurrence of incidents, and ensure the safety of your residents.
Nursing home care is a difficult business to run but a fulfilling one. You get to serve the elderly and give them the care that they deserve. However, risks are inherent. That’s why proper documentation and comprehensive insurance are important.
About Midwest Insurance Group
Midwest Insurance Group is a risk retention group developed by Caitlin Morgan Insurance Services in response to the unique needs of the healthcare industry, particularly that of senior living facilities. With rising premium costs and difficulties in obtaining coverage from the traditional professional and general liability insurance market, Midwest Insurance Group represents a viable, long-term insurance alternative for the senior living sector, giving members complete control over costs and claims management. Midwest Insurance Group is reinsured with Lloyd’s of London, and A rated by Demotech.