It is all too easy for a long-term care facility to be sued by a resident. These lawsuits can be financially damaging, and they can negatively impact your business’ reputation as well. Fortunately, there are ways you can proactively address problematic situations, preventing litigation entirely.
Work with a risk management consultant
As a long-term care facility, there are over 150 standards you must meet per Medicare and Medicaid rules. The annual Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will conduct a yearly survey of your facility to ensure you are meeting these standards.
It can help to work with a risk management consultant to ensure you are in compliance with these standards. A walk-through of your facilities can uncover potential violations, such as obstructions on floors and stairways, poor lighting and other ways a resident could injure themselves on your premises.
Develop protocol for medical records requests
HIPPA laws dictate who has the right to access a resident’s medical records, as well as how these records are prepared and sent. HIPPA violations can easily cost your facility dearly.
You may want to ensure you have a medical records request protocol in place. You may also want to assign an employee to be responsible for these requests. Make sure this employee receives the periodic training needed to stay current on HIPPA laws.
Be smart about hiring
A long-term care facility is only as good as its staff. Poor care by staff can lead to injuries and possible litigation. It is not always easy to find someone willing to work in a long-term care facility. Still, you must perform background checks on potential employees, ensure these employees know how to provide appropriate care and ensure these employees have a positive attitude and work well with the elderly.
You can attract and retain good employees by offering a good benefits package. You can also ensure that workplace policies are well communicated, so staff knows what to expect and how to perform their duties.
Finally, it is important to recognize that working at a long-term care facility is stressful. You can offer staff the emotional support and time off needed to ensure they do not burn out.
These are some ways you can ensure your facility is run smoothly, meets federal and state regulations, and prevent professional malpractice claims. This can help your facility avoid litigation.