Meeting the healthcare needs of your residents

Developing an environment in the ACLF where resident’s healthcare needs are consistently met is a top priority for the Virginia Department of Social Services. If your facility cannot meet the clinical needs of the resident through your own staff, you must contract with an entity such as a home health care agency to perform the required nursing services. DOSS has issued guidelines with how facilities shall meet the health care needs of their residents:

22VAC40-73-470. Health care services.

  1. The facility shall ensure, either directly or indirectly, that the health care service needs of residents are met. The ways in which the needs may be met include:
  2. Staff of the facility providing health care services;
  3. Persons employed by a resident providing health care services; or
  4. The facility assisting residents in making appropriate arrangements for health care services.
  5. When a resident is unable to participate in making appropriate arrangements, the resident’s family, legal representative, designated contact person, cooperating social agency, or personal physician shall be notified of the need.
  6. When mental health care is needed or desired by a resident, this assistance shall include securing the services of the local community services board, behavioral health authority, state or federal mental health clinic, or similar facility or agent in the private sector.
  7. A resident’s need for skilled nursing treatments within the facility shall be met by the facility’s employment of a licensed nurse or contractual agreement with a licensed nurse, or by a home health agency or by a private duty licensed nurse.
  8. Services shall be provided to prevent clinically avoidable complications, including:
  9. Pressure ulcer development or worsening of an ulcer;
  10. Contracture;
  11. Loss of continence;
  12. Dehydration; and
  13. Malnutrition.
  14. The facility shall develop and implement a written policy to ensure that staff are made aware of allergies and allergic reactions and any life-threatening conditions of residents, and actions that staff may need to take.
  15. When care for gastric tubes is provided to a resident by unlicensed direct care facility staff as allowed in clause (ii) of 22VAC40-73-310 K, the following criteria shall be met:
  16. Prior to the care being provided, the facility shall obtain an informed consent, signed by the resident or his legal representative, that includes at a minimum acknowledgment that:
  17. An unlicensed person will routinely be providing the gastric tube care and feedings under the delegation of a registered nurse (RN) who has assessed the resident’s care needs and the unlicensed person’s ability to safely and adequately meet those needs;
  18. Delegation means the RN need not be present in the facility during routine gastric tube care and feedings;
  19. Registered medication aides are prohibited from administering medications via gastric tubes and medications may only be administered by licensed personnel (e.g., a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or RN);
  20. The tube care and feedings provided to the resident and the supervisory oversight provided by the delegating RN will be reflected on the individualized service plan as required in 22VAC40-73-450; and
  21. The signed consent shall be maintained in the resident’s record.
  22. Only those direct care staff with written approval from the delegating RN may provide the tube care and feedings. In addition to the approval, the RN shall document:
  23. The general and resident-specific instructions he provided to the staff person; and
  24. The staff person’s successful demonstration of competency in tube care.
  25. The delegating RN shall be employed by or under contract with the licensed assisted living facility and shall have supervisory authority over the direct care staff being approved to provide gastric tube care and feedings.
  26. The supervisory responsibilities of the delegating RN include:
  27. Monitoring the direct care staff performance related to the delegated tasks;
  28. Evaluating the outcomes for the resident;
  29. Ensuring appropriate documentation; and
  30. Documenting relevant findings and recommendations.
  31. The delegating RN shall schedule supervisory oversight based upon the following criteria:
  32. The stability and condition of the resident;
  33. The experience and competency of the unlicensed direct care staff person;
  34. The nature of the tasks or procedures being delegated; and
  35. The proximity and availability of the delegating RN to the unlicensed direct care staff person when the nursing tasks will be performed.
  36. Prior to allowing direct care staff to independently perform care for gastric tubes as provided for in this subsection, such staff must be able to successfully demonstrate performance of the entire procedure correctly while under direct observation of the delegating RN. Subsequently, each direct care staff shall be directly observed no less than monthly for at least three consecutive months, after which direct observation shall be conducted no less than every six months or more often if indicated. The delegating RN shall retain documentation at the facility of all supervisory activities and direct observations of staff.
  37. Contact information for the delegating RN shall be readily available to all staff responsible for tube feedings when an RN or LPN is not present in the facility.
  38. Written protocols that encompass the basic policies and procedures for the performance of gastric tube feedings, as well as any resident-specific instructions, shall be available to any direct care staff member responsible for tube feedings.
  39. The facility shall have a written back-up plan to ensure that an RN, LPN, or person who is qualified as specified in this subsection is available if the direct care staff member who usually provides the care is absent.
  40. When the resident suffers serious accident, injury, illness, or medical condition, or there is reason to suspect that such has occurred, medical attention from a licensed health care professional shall be secured immediately. The circumstances involved and the medical attention received or refused shall be documented in the resident’s record. The date and time of occurrence, as well as the personnel involved shall be included in the documentation.
  41. The resident’s physician, if not already involved, next of kin, legal representative, designated contact person, case manager, and any responsible social agency, as appropriate, shall be notified as soon as possible but no later than 24 hours from the situation and action taken, or if applicable, the resident’s refusal of medical attention. If a resident refuses medical attention, the resident’s physician shall be notified immediately.
  42. A notation shall be made in the resident’s record of such notice, including the date, time, caller, and person notified.
  43. If a resident refuses medical attention, the facility shall assess whether it can continue to meet the resident’s needs

Top Takeaway:

  • The facility shall ensure, either directly or indirectly, that the health care service needs of residents are met. The ways in which the needs may be met include:
  1. The staff of the facility providing health care services;
  2. Persons employed by a resident providing health care services; or
  3. The facility assisting residents in making appropriate arrangements for health care services.

You cannot allow a resident needs to go unmet even if you are unwilling or unable to provide the services they require. You or the resident must contract with a company to make arrangements to have the services performed. If you knowingly avoid caring for a resident and do not assist them with finding a provider that can meet their needs you will certainly be in hot water with the DOSS for neglecting the resident.

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