The country will soon be entering an era of having the smallest employment base needing to care for the estimated 76 million baby boomers. The healthcare industry – with the assisted-living sector included in a $7.4 billion cost estimate for back injuries - is in great need of safety professionals, armed with strategic risk management plans.
However, staffing levels in the assisted living environment are not as high as skilled care, so a direct-care employee may have upward of 10 to 14 residents under his or her care during a shift. With the added demands of more dependent residents, the potential for occupational injury is compounded with the greatest risks occurring during assistance with bathing, dressing, transferring, and using assistive devices (walkers, scooters, and wheelchairs).
So with rising costs among a high-need population compounded with low staff, how can facilities find solutions to limiting their risk? In my latest white paper, I have outlined 14 steps to implement a comprehensive Assisted Living Risk Management Safety Model to do just that. For example:
- Step No. 1: Have well-written job descriptions and clearly define the physical demands of the job
- Step No. 4: Create a safety/risk management team for insurance program oversight
- Step No. 6: Require safety be a measurement of job performance for all employees
- Step No. 10: Use Job Hazard Analyses (JHA) to establish best care practices, educate staff, and help hold employees accountable to follow the best practice standards
- Step No. 14: Develop a comprehensive claims-cost-containment practice and written program with employee performance expectations
You can find further detail about these and the remaining 14 steps, which should reduce the negative impact on human and financial resources to the healthcare industry.