Lack of documentation and poor documentation top our list of legal mistakes made by LTC facilities. We’ve found that 35-40% of the LTC wound-related lawsuits are extremely difficult to defend because of gaps in documentation. This doesn’t mean the facility or the staffs are at fault, it simply means the proper documentation wasn’t made in order to defend the long term care facility.
In our law practice, we focus on the defense of long term care, assisted living and independent living facilities. After handling over 2,000 cases, we have arrived at the conclusion that long term care wound cases present issues that often times change the burden of proof from what would normally be the case if the exact same facts occurred in a hospital setting. Although defending long term care wound cases can utilize the same medical/clinical arguments available in similar cases involving hospitals, the fact that a wound develops in a long term care facility now puts the onus on the facility to show that everything was done and the resident’s clinical condition made the wound “unavoidable”. Absent proper documentation showing a wound is unavoidable is a very difficult proposition.
If you would like to learn more about best practices in reducing legal risks, view our free, on-demand webinar entitled: “Avoiding Costly Legal Pitfalls in Wound Care.” In this webinar, I co-present with Anne Scheurich, CWOCN and Director of Clinical Services at Telemedicine Solutions, on a variety of topics around legal issues and wound care including documentation and trending tips, developments in wound photography, and case studies that illustrate what to do and more importantly, what not to do in wound care.
Lawyer with McVey & Parsky LLC
312 551 8764