Pressure Injuries: Inadequate Assessments, Care Plans, and Staffing Could Lead to High Liability Risks

March 24, 2017 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​"Cutting corners" on care plans and staffing, in an effort to save time, carries high liability risks for skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), according to a case study published in the March 2017 issue of Caring for the Ages. The author describes a case in which a staff member neglected to perform a comprehensive skin evaluation when a resident was admitted. The resident developed a stage 3 deep tissue injury, costing the SNF more than $250,000 in binding arbitration. The plaintiff focused on the lack of a comprehensive, individualized care plan, as required by federal and state regulations. Also, the resident's care plan was written by a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) instead of a registered nurse, which violated the state's scope-of-practice standards for LVNs, and the plan was generated using a generic form template. Interviews with staff members also revealed that staffing challenges and shortages during the plaintiff's residency left staff members feeling rushed and overwhelmed.

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