Long-term care rules and regulations have been changing at a fast and furious pace over the past few years. Often, changes can happen so quickly that it can be nearly impossible to train staff and update processes in time to stay current. At Richter, we have seen this burden play out across all skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), from independent homes to small and large chains alike.
SNFs track literally dozens of clinical, financial standards and quality measures for internal benchmarking, as well as for reporting to and compliance with governmental agencies. Given the large volume of data generated by SNFs of all sizes, and the myriad ways such data could be utilized, Richter’s clinical consulting services team recently undertook a process to create performance initiatives that target five high-risk areas in the SNF setting and provide proactive mitigation of those risks.
In this blog, we shine the spotlight on incident/accident reports and outcomes.
Are your facility’s incident/accident reports accurate? Do they include proper documentation and an adequate level of required detail? Do your reports indicate trends that point to specific problem areas, or larger issues that merit attention?
SNF personnel at all levels of your facility are busy all day, every day. It’s an extremely demanding environment—we understand this, because all of our professionals have spent years working in SNF settings. We also know that daily demands can prevent recurring issues from being identified and subsequently rectified.
Incidents and accidents are always a focus of surveyors and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. Surveyor reviews look at a multitude of items, all of which have one common theme: follow through. If staff fail to follow through with notification, monitoring, interventions or care planning, you could be looking at a survey citation. These findings can also lead to the identification of systematic failures which can then increase the scope and severity of the citation.
If staff fail to follow through with notification, monitoring, interventions or care planning, you could be looking at a survey citation.
At Richter, our SNF consultants believe it’s critical to track and trend SNF incident reports and outcomes. Doing so can pinpoint opportunities for improvement, and often, highlight issues that may have flown under your team’s radar. Equally important, tracking and trending incident reports and outcomes can help to ensure appropriate documentation, which, in turn, can decrease the likelihood of survey citations and complaint substantiation.
So, what are some areas that merit a close look?
Follow-up documentation after incidents
Reportables prior to submission
Do you have questions about reducing MDS areas, the five SNF target areas identified by Richter, or other clinical challenges? Read our e-book, “Optimizing Five Target Areas in Skilled Nursing Facilities – Your Key to Success” or call Richter’s skilled nursing facility consultants at 866-806-0799 to schedule a free consultation.
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Jennifer Leatherbarrow RN, BSN, RAC-CT, IPCO, QCP, CIC, is Manager of Clinical Consulting for Richter.