Owners and operators of Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly (RCFEs) are constantly striving to make their homes as safe and comfortable as possible for both residents and staff alike. Minimizing risk is an essential part of ensuring that these facilities continue to run smoothly over time. If you run an RCFE and are looking for important, practical ways to reduce risk, we have some guidance that will be very useful for you.
1: Safeguard Against Falls & Other Injuries
When it comes to RCFEs, the safety and overall well being of residents is of the utmost importance. It is vital to remember that as we get older, our bodies weaken and it becomes far easier to sustain potentially serious injuries from things that would have been far less problematic in the past. Falls are particularly relevant in this regard, as they can easily cause a variety of debilitating injuries including fractured wrists, broken arms, and hip fractures. With this in mind, RCFEs need to do all they possibly can to help prevent slips and falls from occurring.
One way of reducing the likelihood of resident falls is by being vigilant in keeping all paths of traversal clear with no hazardous obstructions. Residents should always be able to get where they need to go without being impeded. Another means of lessening resident fall risk is by making sure that surfaces walked over are even and consistent. You don’t want your facility to have any floor surfaces that can cause residents to stumble because their feet catch on the material. If having some angled floors is unavoidable, applying textured material for added grip can certainly help. Added support can also come in the form of handrails, grab bars, and other things that residents can take hold of for stability.
2: Build Your Staff With The Right People And Train Them Well
Simply put, RCFEs cannot function well without the consistent efforts of upstanding staff members. It is after all the staff that helps to take care of the residents and ensure that all of their needs, no matter how simple or complex, are appropriately met. Just as hiring the right people can drastically improve how a facility functions, hiring those that are a bad fit can cause a whole slew of problems. It is therefore in RCFE owners’ best interests to put in all of the time and effort needed to thoroughly vet all prospective employees. This helps in ensuring that those that come on board are truly the best of the best available. Ideal RCFE employees are those that are experienced, pay close attention to detail, and make it clear in what they say and do that they want to be there and do the job right.
Even the most hardworking and committed employees need proper training to be as successful as possible. The better trained the staff is, the less risk there is of them making serious mistakes. As an RCFE operator, one of the last things you want is to have to worry about whether those helping the facility function are doing what they need to do in the manner it needs to be done. Consistent staff training and evaluation is an important way to keep risk as low as possible each day.
3: Pay Careful Attention to Residents’ Medical Needs
Many of those that live in RCFEs have medical conditions (mild, moderate, and severe) that must be carefully managed. Medications always need to be administered at the right times and in the right dosages with absolutely no room for error. The same applies for any physical or occupational therapy that residents require. Ultimately, RCFE residents and their families are depending on the staff to provide the best care possible. This is why resident care plans, which clearly outline what each resident requires and how that will be accomplished, are so important. Having individually-tailored treatment plans helps to reduce the risk of any potential neglect or abuse. RCFE staff also need to be absolutely certain that any changes in a resident’s mental or physical state are swiftly communicated to that resident’s team of health professionals.
4: Document Everything
Unfortunately there are times when incidents involving residents take place at RCFEs. As someone who owns or manages an RCFE, it is absolutely critical that you painstakingly document all such incidents, no matter how minor they may seem at the time. Doing so helps minimize the RCFE’s liability risk, particularly if there are any investigations or legal actions that take place as a result of what transpired. All details should be comprehensively recorded, and the files should be easily accessible if need be.
InsureMyRCFE Helps RCFEs Minimize Their Risk
InsureMyRCFE helps to reduce RCFE risk by providing the homes with cost-effective liability, workers compensation, and commercial property insurance policies that are configured to meet their specific needs. With ample experience as administrators of RCFEs and insurance brokers, we know what these facilities need and make it simple to click, quote, and bind policies as required. If you have any questions about our company or what we offer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (805) 413-5668.