Due to increased litigation within the assisted living industry (some reports indicate that it now surpasses long-term care in terms of the amount of awards), along with having adequate amounts of Assisted Living Facilities Insurance, risk management has become a key concern for many providers of these services.
Stricter resident screening is an important factor and should occur before move-in as a way of mitigating some of the risks involved. In addition, each resident should be made to undergo assessments for health, psychosocial, and cognitive status. In this way, it helps to ensure that the facility will be able to meet the resident’s needs and it also serves as a basis for the development of a comprehensive service plan.
What should the service plan include?
The service plan should include information from the resident’s physician along with documents such as guardianship papers, powers of attorney, living wills, and do-not-resuscitate orders, all of which should be obtained at the time of admission. The plan should include the scope, frequency, and duration of services and monitoring, and it must be responsive to the resident’s needs and preferences in order for the facility to be able to properly serve individual residents. An annual review of the plan should occur, and at routine intervals after move-in as well, as the resident’s needs or preferences may change.
Facility should maintain sufficient, qualified staff
The facility should maintain sufficient qualified staff members capable of meeting the needs of its residents at all times and should have ongoing training for staff in order to monitor changes in residents’ physical, cognitive, and psychosocial conditions. A safe, homelike environment that supports independence, privacy, comfort, and individuality should be provided for residents at all times.
Residents’ records should be kept confidential at all times and released only with consent. Providers should also ensure residents’ choices and the right to autonomy for as long as possible, within reason. Residents should share responsibility for any and all decisions affecting their lives and be fully informed of their rights and responsibilities.
Family should be counseled regarding any shared or negotiated risk
When a resident insists on engaging in potentially risky behavior (i.e. a service refusal), a risk agreement should be negotiated, with an open discussion with both management and family members about the consequences this choice may hold. The risk agreement should be reviewed if the resident’s mental or physical condition changes substantially. Because these facilities have so many concerns with regards to the care and safety of their residents, Assisted Living Facilities Insurance is a key component in any risk management plan.