Risk management for assisted living facilities remains the best and most useful way to avoid problems and accidents before they occur. Workplace safety is the responsibility of everyone at the facility, and there are things that you can do, as the owner/operator, to prevent harm to workers and patients.
Assisted living care is one of the fastest expanding areas in senior care, particularly due to our aging population. While the fact that these facilities strive to administer proper and adequate care to their residents is without a doubt, because of the inherent risks involved, coupled with staff that is sometimes in need of proper training, there are added exposures that should be addressed and this requires a sound risk management plan.
By doing certain things you can help to mitigate the high cost of managed care. One of them is managing the personal safety and health risks for workers while working at your facility. Nurses and caregivers need to understand that there are sometimes unknown factors that may need to be addressed.
For example, if a staff member reports to work while sick, or a patient falls ill and is not properly treated there is the chance that it will spread. We all know that, as we get older, it becomes more difficult to overcome certain sicknesses.
The following is a list of issues that assisted care workers are potentially exposed to:
- Biological hazards – infective diseases, blood borne pathogens, needle stick injury
- Chemical hazards – hazardous drugs, cleaning and sterilizing agents
- Physical hazards – slips, trips, falls, overexertion, back injury, temperature extremes, unhygienic conditions, and
- Psychological hazards – occupational stress, workplace violence, illegal drugs; verbal abuse and other forms of violence
While it is possible to prevent or reduce the exposure of health care workers to workplace hazards, this can only come about with a sound risk management plan for assisted living facilities.