Accidents and Adverse Events: Don’t Fall into the Risk Trap

Mrs. Smith, a resident of your facility, was found on the floor by a CNA. Upon assessment, she was found to have sustained an unwitnessed fall with an injury to her right leg. Mrs. Smith was transported to the local emergency room and was diagnosed with a right hip fracture.  Three days later, she passed away from complications of the hip fracture. 

You take immediate action following your facility’s policy. You report the adverse event and conduct an RCA. You take corrective action based on the findings of the RCA. 6 months later, you receive notification that Mrs. Smith’s family filed a lawsuit against your facility. Upon reviewing the records with your facility’s legal counsel, gaps in documentation and facility response were identified.  You are left wondering how this happened, why this wasn’t picked up during your RCA, and what other gaps exist in your facility’s response to adverse events.

The above scenario may seem all too familiar to you. What can you do now to protect your facility against future accidents and adverse events? Consider partnering with a third party outside of your facility to review your current policy, processes, and accidents and adverse events.  A third party can offer a neutral perspective of your current state and help you identify areas that you can improve upon. 

Employee reaction to an accident or adverse event can cause an emotional response. Details of the event and evidence discovered during debriefings may not be properly documented. A third party reviews accidents and adverse events with an emotional disconnection, focusing solely on comprehensive and timely documentation. A third party can also help you implement software that is specifically designed to capture the crucial details of accidents and incidents, making it easy for your staff to document events in real-time.

Partnering with a third party can help decrease your facility’s risk and improve your outcomes. Your facility’s response to accidents and significant events can make or break you. Take steps now to help your facility avoid this risk trap.