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Risk Management: Emergency Planning Part 2 - Contents of a Good Emergency Plan

After Hurricane Katrina, Medicare and the Department of Health and Human Services created new regulations, setting forth what they will require of facilities in disaster planning. The requirements are somewhat vague, requiring facilities to "have detailed written plans and procedures to meet all potential emergencies and disasters," and "train employees in emergency procedures when they begin work in the facility, periodically review the procedures with current staff, and carry out unannounced staff drills using those procedures." The contents of a facility’s disaster plan are left to the discretion of the administration. It is suggested your disaster plan include:


Develop specific procedures for notifying staff to implement the disaster plan. Areas that need to be covered include how staff will communicate with each other,

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Risk Management: Emergency Planning Part 1 - Why an Evacuation Plan is Necessary

Every time there is an emergency, such as a hurricane, tornado, or flood, there are reports about the difficult decisions nursing homes have to make during the emergency. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities need to take measures to develop comprehensive emergency plans.

Evaluating Risk

Start your disaster planning by evaluating the potential risk. What type of disaster might your facility face? This question needs must be answered because each type of disaster requires

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Risk Management: Clinical Areas of Liability - Falls

One of the most common risk management concerns for nursing facilities is falls and fall-related injuries to LTC residents. Reports indicate the incidence of falls in nursing homes is 1.6 falls per bed per year. Additionally, fall-related injuries can lead to major disability and even death.

Although some falls result from negligence, injurious falls can occur even when every effort is made to ensure the safety of residents. Some of the complications from falls are avoidable with good care. However, others are unavoidable. When lawsuits are filed, an injurious fall is frequently blamed on the negligence of the facility and complications resulting from the event are cited as evidence of neglect.

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Risk Management: Pet Contact in Nursing Homes

One of the things many nursing home residents miss most is the companionship of a pet. It is heartbreaking to leave behind a beloved pet when a move to a long-term care facility is necessary. While many nursing homes have regular visits from therapy dogs, many are now opening their doors to permanent dog and cat residents either as facility pets, or as companions for individual residents.

Pets usually have a very positive effect on nursing home residents. Therefore, they are often are used for companionship, psychological support, and therapy. As companions, pets provide affection, engage residents, and give residents something for which to care.

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Risk Management: The Best Protection

When an occurrence happens that puts your facility at risk, is not the time to begin to be concerned about risk management. The best protection for your facility considers three areas: 1) good management 2) up-to-date, reviewed personnel policies and 3) well-designed insurance coverage.

Good Management

All the efforts taken to manage a facility well contribute to sound risk management. Fully attentive administrative staff with a wide range of skills may be the most important guard against major risks.

Careful strategic planning and effective supervision helps ensure organizational resources is closely aligned to accomplishing the facility’s mission, and that staff and volunteers are treated fairly and comply with rules and regulations.

Management skills needed for nursing home supervision include:

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