Investigation, notification, and reporting requirements
Unfortunately, there are times when a resident is placed in a situation where that safety is taken away in the form of abuse or neglect. Although facilities do their best to vet employees and ensure they are hiring people they can entrust with the care of their residents there are ultimately times when a less than respectable person slips through the cracks. If a resident in your facility is expected to have been a victim of abuse, neglect, or exploitation you must adhere to the following regulation provided by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services:
DHS 83.12 Investigation, notification, and reporting requirements.
(1) Death reporting.
(a) Resident death related to physical restraint, psychotropic medication or suicide. No later than 24 hours after the death of a resident, the CBRF shall report the death to the department if there is reasonable cause to believe the death was related to the use of a physical restraint or psychotropic medication, or was a suicide.
(b) Resident death related to an accident or injury. When a resident dies as a result of an incident or accident not related to the use of a physical restraint, psychotropic medication, or suicide, the CBRF shall send a report to the department within 3 working days of the resident’s death.
(c) Resident death due to natural causes. A CBRF is not required to report a death to the department if the death is the result of natural causes, and none of the circumstances surrounding the death involve a condition under par. (a) or (b).
(2) Investigating and reporting abuse, neglect or misappropriation of property.
- When a CBRF receives a report of an allegation of abuse or neglect of a resident, or misappropriation of property, the CBRF shall take immediate steps to ensure the safety of all residents.
- The CBRF shall investigate and document any allegation of abuse or neglect of a resident, or misappropriation of property by a caregiver. If the CBRF’s investigation concludes that the alleged abuse, or neglect of a resident or misappropriation of property meets the definition of abuse or neglect of a resident, or of misappropriation of property, the CBRF shall report the incident to the department on a form provided by the department, within 7 calendar days from the date the CBRF knew or should have known about the abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of property. The CBRF shall maintain documentation of any investigation.
Note: For copies of the report form, contact the Division of Quality Assurance, Office of Caregiver Quality at P.O. Box 2969, Madison WI 53701-2969 or at dhs.wisconsin.gov/caregiver/index.htm.
(b) Non-caregiver or resident. When there is an allegation of abuse or neglect of a resident, or misappropriation of property by a non-caregiver or resident, the CBRF shall follow the elder abuse reporting requirements under s. 46.90, Stats., or the adult at risk requirements under s. 55.043, Stats., whichever is applicable.
(c) Other reporting. Filing a report under sub. (1) or (2) does not relieve the licensee or other person of any obligation to report an incident to any other authority, including law enforcement and the coroner.
(3) Investigating injuries of unknown source.
(a) A CBRF shall investigate any of the following:
- An injury that was not observed by any person.
- The source of an injury to a resident that cannot be adequately explained by the resident.
- An injury to a resident that appears suspicious because of the extent of the injury or the location of the injury on the resident.
(b) The CBRF shall maintain documentation of each investigation of an injury referenced under par. (a). The CBRF shall report the incident as required under sub. (2).
(4) Other reporting and notification requirements. A CBRF shall send a written report to the department within 3 working days after any of the following occurs:
(a) Any time a resident’s whereabouts are unknown, except those instances when a resident who is competent chooses not to disclose his or her whereabouts or location to the CBRF, the CBRF shall notify the local law enforcement authority immediately upon discovering that a resident is missing. This reporting requirement does not apply to residents under the jurisdiction of government correctional agencies or persons recovering from substance abuse.
(b) Any time law enforcement personnel are called to the CBRF as a result of an incident that jeopardizes the health, safety, or welfare of residents or employees. The CBRF’s report to the department shall provide a description of the circumstances requiring the law enforcement intervention. This reporting requirement does not apply to residents under the jurisdiction of government correctional agencies.
(c) Any incident or accident resulting in serious injury requiring hospital admission or emergency room treatment of a resident.
(d) A catastrophe occurs resulting in damage to the CBRF.
(e) A fire occurs on the premises of the CBRF.
(f) Any time the CBRF must evacuate and temporarily relocate residents and employees from the CBRF for reasons other than a fire drill.
(5) Notification of changes affecting a resident.
(a) The CBRF shall immediately notify the resident’s legal representative and the resident’s physician when there is an incident or injury to the resident or a significant change in the resident’s physical or mental condition.
(b) The CBRF shall immediately notify the resident’s legal representative when there is an allegation of physical, sexual or mental abuse, or neglect of a resident. The CBRF shall notify the resident’s legal representative within 72 hours when there is an allegation of misappropriation of property.
(c) The CBRF shall give the resident or the resident’s legal representative a 30-day written notice of any change in services available or in charges for services that will be in effect for more than 30 days.
(6) Documentation. All written reports required under this section shall include, at a minimum, the time, date, place, individuals involved, details of the occurrence, and the action taken by the provider to ensure residents’ health, safety and well-being.
If a resident has reported an abuse allegation you must take it seriously! Immediately contact the staff member in question of abuse and interview them regarding their side of the situation. I also highly suggest suspending this employee pending investigation in order to remove them from the situation while you gather facts and continue the reporting process.