Practical Methods of Reducing Liability, Exposure, and Cost

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CareSafely Quality, Safety, Compliance Platform | Legal Liability, Exposure, and Cost

Liability-related costs like workers’ comp, insurance premiums, and lawsuit payouts can strain your bottom line and damage your organization’s reputation. In 2021, liability rates jumped 15%-40% and are expected to increase again in 2022.

CareSafely’s recent webinar, Reducing Your Liability, Exposure, and Cost, discusses ways your facility can actively manage safety, risk, and compliance. Expert panelists Rose Saenz, founder of ReavealSol, Amy Yarbro, partner at Morrison Mahoney law firm, and Raj Shah, founder of CareSafely, discuss simple strategies and explore leveraging digital workflows to reduce liability, exposure, and cost.

Topping the list of trends in senior care risk management is COVID-19. To date, more than 142,300 residents in long-term care (LTC) and senior living have died due to the Coronavirus, and that number increases with the ongoing spread of its highly contagious variants. More than 13,000 lawsuits have been filed, with many more expected over the next several years. Beyond lawsuits, other COVID-19-related legal considerations include:

  • Vaccine mandates and OSHA requirements
  • State-by-state regulations
  • Risk mitigation and enforcement
  • Staffing

While many states have laws protecting LTC from COVID-19-related negligence claims, such immunity is being litigated at the federal level. The outcome of such litigation could have a direct impact on senior care.

Pandemic-related lawsuits and legal considerations are abundant and relatively new, but age-old liability trends still impact the senior care industry. Common resident injuries in lawsuits include falls, pressure ulcers, failure to observe a condition requiring emergency care, medication management, and more. There are several problematic issues for defending resident injury lawsuits:

  • Lack of documentation
  • Key witness no longer works at the facility
  • Insufficient training

Workers’ comp and employee injuries can also contribute to lawsuits. Senior care is a high-risk industry for employees, with incident rates in nursing and residential care two times higher than in the construction and coal mining industries. Many employee injuries are related to moving residents and can also result in resident injuries. Senior care communities can take practical steps to better manage risk and reduce liability.

Strategies to Reduce Risk and Defend Against Lawsuits

Your organization can mitigate risk and safety concerns with five simple strategies:

  1. Train Staff
    Examine what training, if any, are in place and invest in specializing training by role and responsibilities.
  2. Observe and Coach Staff
    Observing employees and providing real-time advice and correction improves compliance and care while eliminating shortcuts that lead to injuries and mistakes.
  3. Manage Turnover
    Stay connected with your staff and communicate with team members as people, beyond their roles and responsibilities. Listen and act on concerns to improve culture and keep valuable employees engaged and in your organization.
  4. Document, Document, Document
    When in doubt, document. Accurate and timely documentation with real-time facts can save time and is critical if lawsuits arise. Train your staff when and how to document information.
  5. Communicate
    Transparency with residents, employees, and family members is vital. Share the facts, set expectations, and keep conversations open. As residents age, risks increase and should be communicated to the family and documented. Communicate complex or challenging information with support from clinical experts to reduce confusion.

Modernize Risk and Compliance Processes

Many senior care communities depend on emails and spreadsheets to document and identify risk and compliance. But such manual processes are cumbersome and leave the organization extremely vulnerable. Fortunately, it is easy to transition to a more efficient, consistent, and effective digital system.

A digital solution has many benefits, including:

  • Reduced admin time by 40%-50%
  • Power to identify risk before it happens
  • Consistency across all locations
  • Reduced turnover with safer environments
  • Ability to build, track, and manage corrective plans
  • Audit ready 24/7

CareSafely offers such a digital platform—developed specifically for the senior care industry. Managing a professional Quality, Safety, and Compliance (QSC) program with disjointed and manual processes creates quality gaps, safety risks, and compliance liability. The CareSafely QSC management software is purpose-built for senior care to provide an integrated, 360° view of your QSC program and drive quality and safety behaviors at your organization.

The system empowers providers to mitigate risk, liability, and compliance effectively and affordably. Use our extensive library of quality and safety assessments, or create and upload your own. CareSafely manages the workflows to ensure correction actions are in place, eliminating inconsistencies and gaps.

View the complete webinar for more information on liability trends, strategies to reduce lawsuits, and modernizing processes.

To learn more about how your organization can use CareSafely to improve compliance and reduce litigation, exposure, and cost, schedule a demo.

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About CareSafely
CareSafely enables senior living and long-term care providers to strengthen their Quality, Safety, and Compliance (QSC) programs. Purpose-built for senior care, the CareSafely software and content platform ensures that all QSC activities like risk assessments, corrective actions, staff competencies, and audits are proactively managed with 50% less effort.

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