May 13, 2011 | by Crystal ++

Even if your assisted living insurance portfolio contains Professional Liability, the truth is people make mistakes. Unfortunately, in nursing homes, mistakes can lead to patient injuries, and in the worst case scenario, death. Lawsuits arising from such events can quite simply put you out of business. So it is critical to have a Professional Liability policy. Even so, here are three things you can do to minimize risks associated with running an assisted living facility.

1. Ensure All Nurses Have Proper Training And Licensing

This one may seem like a no brainer. But because of the lack of a national database to keep track of nurses with blemishes on their records, and the increasing need for nursing homes to use temp workers, the number of nurses working without a license, with a suspended license, or with a criminal background is increasing.

It is frighteningly simple for a nurse with a suspended license, criminal background, or one who was fired to be hired by a temporary staffing agency. So, make sure to do your own background checks, even if you are using a temporary staffing firm. It is also important to have a strict training process for all new hires, and continuing training for all employees.

2. Maintain A Sufficient Staff-To-Patient Ratio

Most people know what it is like to be overworked. Employees that are stretched too thin and in a rush tend to make more mistakes. But in the assisted living business, a mistake can cost a life. It is important to make sure you have enough staff to properly care for each patient.

As recently as last year, a large nursing home chain was fighting an under-staffing class action lawsuit. The verdict was for $671 million to be paid to the members of the class. Don’t let this happen to you. Make sure you have plenty of staff to keep things running smoothly.

3. Ensure Patients Have Medical Plans And Up-To-Date Posted Medical Schedules

In assisted living facilities, it is so important for each patient to receive the medical care they need. Nurses and staff members at a nursing home usually have several patients they care for. Therefore, it is important that all patient records be kept up-to-date.

It is also important that their medical plan and medicine schedule be kept in a designated area. Many nursing homes have created a check list for each patient that outlines their medical needs and their medicine schedules.

A nurse’s job can be stressful. They are responsible for the health and well being of several people each day. Therefore, mistakes can be and are made. Besides having Professional Liability in place, these tips should help you minimize risk at your facility.

**For more information about Assisted Living Insurance contact me at CToney@SouthernStatesInsurance.com or call me at (678) 715-9119.

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