Look at Home Care Risks through Different Prisms, Article Says
March 1, 2013 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance
Because the home care industry is marked by "startling diversity," home care risks should be "viewed through several different prisms. The caregiver, the care given and the patient all shape the exposure," writes Evan Smith, healthcare underwriter, Beazley Group, in a recent article. Factors include staff qualifications, the client's circumstances and age, and the level, frequency, and location of care. One factor is who is providing services. Claims involving services provided by custodial aides may arise from issues such as alleged medication dispensing errors, falls, drug diversion, theft, abuse (sexual, physical, or verbal), and nonowned auto liability (e.g., driving of clients). Claims involving certified nursing assistants may involve similar risks, plus medical professional liability related to the basic health-related services that they may provide. Risks involving care provided by nurses are even greater. Patients receiving home nursing care typically have serious medical conditions and receive more involved treatments, so "the potential for catastrophic outcomes is greater," Smith writes. Client factors play a role as well.