Ways to Mitigate Risk to Reduce Loss
With the aging population, assisted living centers are becoming more and more in demand, representing an excellent business opportunity. However, the nature of this business has some inherent risks that require foresight and planning to execute risk management and loss control.
Assisted living centers need comprehensive insurance and risk management programs in addition to thoughtful policies and procedures. Caregiving is an essential, valuable service but does indeed come with some particular vulnerabilities, which is why risk management and loss control are so helpful for business viability.
Here are some of the most common risks and potential loss areas in assisted living centers and suggestions on how to proceed.
Slips and Falls
No question, injuries from slips and falls are common potential legal issues for any sort of business or service provider. However, given the frailty of the common resident of an assisted living center, this problem carries more weight.
Reduce the likelihood of slips and falls by ensuring that carpeting is flush to the floor and that there are no slipping or tripping hazards. Take care not to leave hard flooring wet and use signage to warn people. Make sure that there is adequate lighting to illuminate any potential hazards. Inspect equipment regularly, like shower seats, raised toilet seats, and grab bars. Small steps can help a great deal with risk management and loss control.
Issues Around Care
Another legal issue that arises commonly is the improper administration of medication or problems with medical care. To avoid this from happening, ensure that staff are fully trained and certified to administer medication/medical care. Document procedures and conversations between medical care staff, family members and the resident.
Avoid problems with residents/patients wandering by having the proper measures in place: security guards, surveillance cameras, and secure doors and windows. Screen patients upon admission to evaluate potential risks with individuals and assign different protocols depending on the perceived risk.
It is also helpful to have adequate staff on hand to minimize the risk in these areas. Having adequate staff can help in the event of an illness outbreak, in order to contain it.
Unfortunately, resident abuse is something that does happen against this vulnerable population. To minimize this risk, ensure that staff are properly screened and have the necessary background checks and security clearance. Have staff work in teams of two or more so that all staff interactions are supervised.
Despite all the planning in the world, accidents and emergencies do happen. Make sure that you have well laid out and documented procedures in the face of emergencies like fire, flood, or natural disasters. That should incorporate both procedural direction and staff training in emergency response, and it should be reviewed on a regular basis.
Your best risk management and loss control plan is to try to identify problems before they occur. To find out more, contact us.