Q&A: If a resident leaves the building in full view of the receptionist, is it considered a reportable elopement?

By Janet Feldkamp BSN, JD, LNHA, CHC, RN - August 21, 2018

Question: We had a Resident who is at risk for elopement exist the building.  The receptionist opened the door for a visitor, as the door closed, the resident walked through the door.  The receptionist asks her to stop but she refused and kept going. Then the receptionist followed her outside and persuaded her to come back in, which she did. Is this considered an elopement even if the resident was in full view of a staff member? Would this incident need to be reported as an elopement?


Answer:  If there is a definition of elopement in Maryland, please review that carefully.  How does this situation apply to such definition in your state?  Without a state definition and not a conflicting facility policy, I would assert that this was not an unwitnessed exit from the facility and that the resident was not at risk.  I would assert that it was a successful implementation of the oversight for this resident.  The resident was safe at all times.  Those are my thoughts regarding this situation.

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