Marina Garden Nursing center is one of the best nursing centers in Alameda, County in California. The facility offers comprehensive nursing care with services ranging from partial respite care services to skilled long term nursing care. Additionally, the other programs provided at Marina Garden nursing center include recreational facilities, pharmacy, dietary and social services. Patient safety is always the priority at the nursing facility, and, therefore, most of the risk management concepts employed by the nursing center are aimed at limiting medical errors as well as avoiding actions without informed consent of the patients (Carroll, 2009). This executive summary focuses on the key concepts of risk management as well as the factors that are known to influence the practice of risk management at Marina Garden Nursing Center.
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Purpose of risk management in health care organizations
In most nursing homes across the United States, risk management programs are usually designed to prevent accidents or losses, while others are created to respond to such risks. All these measures serve to prevent harm to the patients undergoing nursing services, minimize the liability exposure of the various professional workers at the nursing facilities and reduce the risk of loss to the facility. Marina Garden Nursing Center’s risk management strategies should be implemented both at the departmental levels and organizational level. Generally, the main elements of risk management used in the facility include identification and reporting of any potential risk, investigation of the medical accidents or potential accidents and putting in place the appropriate remedies to mitigate these risks.
The other important risk management practices also entail documentation of potentially risky events as well as effective data management. These practices do not only improve the patient safety or reduce the potential of malpractice lawsuits but also minimize the potential loss at the nursing center. Finally, Marina Garden nursing center has implemented effective interdisciplinary programs for all the workers at the center. This is a part of the risk management program because it reduces the possibility of unnecessary legal claims being filled against the organization, while at the same time, ensuring quality respite and nursing services are always given to the patients.
Although Marina Garden nursing center provides high quality respite and nursing care services to the vulnerable and frail elderly patients, cases of negligence and abuse have been occasionally witnessed. Some of these incidences do not only pose significant risk to the patients but also subject the nursing home to the potential risk of financial liability incase the affected patients opt to file for compensation of the damages. If these risks are not effectively mitigated, the neglects as well as the poor care may result in serious harm, and, therefore, effective measures should always be put in place.
Steps in the identification and management of risks at the Marina Garden nursing
One of the most important steps of risk management at the Marina Garden center is the identification and stopping the factors that result in the neglect on part of the nursing care professionals. This can be effectively achieved by organizing open forums where all the nursing professionals are able to discuss their challenges as well as different ways of mitigating them. Another common risk in the nursing center is the risk of abuse of the patients by the professional workers providing them with care services. Some of the potential physical abuses which are likely to take place at the nursing center, if appropriate measures are not put in place, include shaking, slapping, hitting and non-consented sexual contact between the patients and the nursing and care attendants at the center (Hudson, 1990). On the other hand, the risks of emotional abuse include humiliation of the patients through threats or verbal assaults. Apart from the fact that these cases of negligence and abuse may result in legal lawsuits demanding compensation from the nursing center; it also causes debilitating risks to the health of the vulnerable patients.
The first step towards the identification and management of the risks related to negligence and abuse of the patients involves the exact factors that give rise to the abuse as well as the other factors that correlate with the nature of abuse. For example, low staff ration has been known to significantly increase the possibility of neglect and abuse in medical and nursing facilities. In some situations, however, poorly trained nursing professionals may not be able to offer the quality respite and nursing required by some particular patients. Finally, in areas where residents have symptoms of dementia, such as tearing, hitting and kicking objects, nursing centers can potentially increase the chances of the aides physically abusing the patients. After the same causes of the risks have been identified, the organization should develop policies as well as provide the necessary training and education to help the employees understand the risks of their actions and omissions.
Policies, education and policies required to mitigate the risks in nursing facilities
Generally, three typical risks at the Marina Garden Nursing Center include the risk of employee negligence, physical abuse and the risk of emotional abuse of the patients. Fortunately, there are several policies, education and training that can be designed and implemented to help nursing centers like Marina Garden mitigate some of these risks. With regard to work environment at the nursing facilities, the nursing centers can develop policies that ensure that they have comfortable and safe environments within their facilities. According to McLaughlin and Kaluzny (2006), some of the measures that can be taken to reduce some of the risks include increasing their staffing, reducing the cases of absenteeism and helping the employees boost their work morale. The work place policies of the nursing care centers should also be designed to ensure effective reporting systems that help in the identification of the potential risks at the earliest time possible.
To ensure that nursing and care professionals at the nursing centers have the knowledge of the potential risk in their lines of duties, the management should introduce training and frequent educational programs aimed at providing them with consistent information on how to handle and interact with the patients. This will not only improve the personal’s knowledge and competence, but also its training that will act as a vehicle of developing their self esteem. Consequently, it will help reduce cases of negligence and abuse of patients. Additionally, through training, the medical and nursing staff at the nursing centers will also be more prepared to appropriately respond to challenges in their line of duties such as combative patients. Finally, necessary education and training should be carried out to help the healthcare professionals working in nursing facilities with conflict resolution and coping skills. All these will significantly help the nursing facilities like Marina Garden center in its risk management efforts.
Carroll, R. (2009). Risk Management handbook for health Care Organizations. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons Inc
Hudson, B. (1990). Ensuring an Abuse free Environment: A Learning Program for Nursing Home Staff. Journal of Elder Abuse and Neglect, 4, 25-36.
McLaughlin C., Kaluzny A. (2006). Continuous Quality Improvement in Health Care: Theory, Implementations, and Applications. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett Publishers