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Since the new Long-Term Care Survey Process (LTCSP) launched on November 28, 2017, 702 citations have been given for F686 (Skin Integrity). 22% of those tags are a G scope or above. Many of the citations are for:
· Failure to provide care to treat and/or prevent worsening pressure ulcers
· Failure to prevent facility-acquired pressure ulcers
· Failure to develop and/or follow the care plan
· Failure to ensure accurate assessment, obtain treatment orders, or communicate with other professional staff
· Failure to prevent infection of wounds
Widespread pressure ulcer issues are no surprise when facilities don’t have proper protocols in place for prevention, early identification, and treatment, according to Wendy DeCarvalho, MS, BSN, RN, DNS-CT, Director of Nursing for Scotia Village in North Carolina. As a DNS and clinical nurse consultant in long-term care facilities nationwide, DeCarvalho has worked to improve Quality Measures, including those for pressure ulcer rates. “If the staff doesn’t have protocols in place, pressure ulcers often go unchecked, untracked, and untreated,” she says. She recommends the following best practices.
F700 (Bedrails) is one of 17 discrete F-Tags now included under Section 483.25, Quality of Care, in Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These tags are among the indicators of substandard quality of care, meaning even a single deficiency with a scope/severity level of F, H, I, J, K, or L could potentially trigger an extended survey. Some recent standard surveys under the new Long-term Care Survey Process (LTCSP) indicate that providers may want to review their compliance in this area.
The new F700 tag has new corresponding interpretive guidance in Appendix PP of the State Operations Manual. The Key Elements for Noncompliance for F700 are as follows:
Clinical staff are incredibly busy completing the tasks that are expected of them every day. It seems there is never enough time to get everything done. As the demand for high-quality care continues to rise, nurse leaders will need to look to the research to identify evidence-based approaches to improving clinical outcomes, increasing customer satisfaction, and maximizing staff efficiency. These best practices are often generated in acute care settings but can be used in long-term care with great success.
One evidence-based approach that offers value for long-term care settings is hourly rounding. Hourly rounding is the process of ensuring that a resident is checked each hour by a member of staff to ensure he or she is safe, well positioned, and needs are met. Since the first study on hourly rounding was done, the practice has been implemented in numerous clinical settings, including long-term care, in the new-admission process and in programs for preventing falls, reducing call light use, and monitoring residents with changes in condition.
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