Preventing Harm in Skilled Nursing Facilities

May 27, 2014
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In February of this year the Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General released the study, Adverse Events in Skilled Nursing Facilities National Incidence among Medicare Beneficiaries. This study aimed to evaluate the post-acute care provided in Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNF). It states that the purpose of SNF are to “help beneficiaries improve health and functioning following hospitalization.” Adverse events in this study are defined as harm resulting from medical care. The findings suggest that 22% of SNF residents experience adverse events during their stay and an additional 11% experienced additional temporary harm. It was concluded that about 59% of these cases were either clearly or likely preventable, and resulted from either “substandard treatment, inadequate resident monitoring, and failure or delay of necessary care.” The Inspector General suggests a number of ways for nursing home administrators and staff to address this issue. However, there are additional measures you can take to ensure safety if your loved one is currently residing in a skilled nursing facility. Our nursing home checklist (found in the memorandum When a Loved One Enters a Nursing Facility) can help you determine what areas you should be checking when visiting your loved one. Additionally, our previous blog article, What to Do if you Suspect Mistreatment in a Facility, offers advocacy tips and can be found at the following:

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