In 2023, just having a website for your Residential Care Facility for the Elderly (RCFE) might not be enough. Even if your potential residents aren’t the most tech-savvy bunch, their family members likely are. In fact, family that lives out of town might heavily rely on your digital presence to see if you’re a good fit for their aging relative.
Enter: virtual tours. With these 3D representations of your facility, you give anyone, anywhere the opportunity to explore what you have to offer. Virtual tours can help your RCFE stand apart from the competition and provide the clarity potential residents and their loved ones want.
All of this said, if you do explore offering virtual tours, you should also explore added protection for your facility.
Heightened Risk with Virtual Tours
There are two big liability factors to consider with virtual tours.
First, you need to make sure they accurately represent your facility. Say, for example, that you’re in the process of upgrading your living quarters one by one. If you show the upgraded option in your virtual tour but your future residents are much more likely to end up in a different-looking room, you can run into issues.
Or say your virtual tour makes your entire facility look like it’s extremely accessible to people using a walker. A resident moves in under that assumption, then finds that getting to the dining hall requires navigating a tricky set of steps. If they fall, you could have a costly lawsuit on your hands — made all the more problematic if that resident argues that you inaccurately represented your RCFE.
Secondly, be careful about what you capture in your virtual tour that might require consent.
It’s a best practice, for example, not to film any of your residents. If you do, you could end up with privacy issues.
Even something you might think is innocuous — like a poster advertising an upcoming movie showing for your resident — could land you in hot water. The virtual tour can’t show anything that’s someone else’s copyrighted or trademarked intellectual property unless you have the appropriate permissions.
Safeguarding Against Virtual Tour Liability
This isn’t to say you should skip virtual tours. They can be a hugely advantageous part of your marketing program. But if you do leverage them, you need to have the proper insurance protections in place.
The first step to mitigating risk is addressing those two issues head-on. Make sure your virtual tour accurately reflects your facility, and make sure you keep people and copyrighted/trademarked materials out of it.
Beyond that, talk with your insurance advisor about your coverage. The right general and professional RCFE liability policy can go a long way here. If you do run into a lawsuit because of a virtual tour, your liability insurance can likely step in to help with not just the legal fees of defending yourself, but also any settlement levied against your facility.
If you’re looking into virtual tours, look into the right level of liability coverage, too. We can help there. To talk to RCFE liability insurance experts, call our team at (805) 413-5668.