Navigating Automotive-Related Risks in Home Healthcare
Understanding Automotive Risk
Automotive-related risks rank as the top dangers for home healthcare agencies. The act of driving at high speeds on roads itself is inherently dangerous and can lead to serious accidents. Since COVID-19, juries have been awarding more money in cases related to accidents, even in seemingly minor incidents. This has affected the value of cases and claims settlements, escalating even minor accidents into seven-figure cases.
Protecting Patients and Staff
To mitigate these risks, home healthcare agencies must take several precautions. Ensuring that every staff member has a valid driver’s license, and a personal auto policy is crucial, as the liability generally falls on the employer once the personal limits of the driver at fault are exhausted. Conducting regular checks on driving records and setting up record monitoring with state motor vehicle departments is not just an option but an expectation in this day and age. Monitoring driving records ensures that only responsible individuals are behind the wheel.
Monitoring Employee Driving Records
By monitoring employee driving records annually, if not more often, agencies can be alerted to any violations or lapsed licenses. This vigilance helps in making informed decisions regarding retaining employees, choosing insurance coverage and ensures your agency’s alignment with legal requirements.
Mitigating General and Professional Liability in Home Healthcare
General and Professional Liability
General and professional liability cover a wide array of risks related to patient care, including falls, transfers, scalding, choking, medication errors, and shift coverage. Falls are frequent with individuals who need home healthcare and can quickly escalate beyond a simple injury, particularly when dealing with elderly and frail individuals.
Risk Management StrategiesTraining caregivers and ensuring they perform all required monitoring responsibilities is key to reducing risks. A solid training program can prevent inappropriate assumptions and misunderstandings, such as misinterpreting a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order. Documentation of policies and procedures in writing, rigorous training, and the consistent use of best practices can provide protection, especially if a claim goes to court.
Legal Compliance and Regulations
Compliance with legal regulations is crucial in the home healthcare industry. Ensuring that clients are not left alone, meticulous documentation, proper use of mobility and transfer equipment, and coordination between shifts are all essential aspects of legal compliance. Some agencies even use home medical equipment providers' showrooms as training centers to ensure proper training in equipment handling.
The challenges and risks in home healthcare are diverse and complex. But you don't have to
face these challenges alone.
At DII, we specialize in home healthcare agency insurance needs. We understand the unique
requirements and risks of your industry, and we're here to provide tailored solutions to
safeguard your business, staff, and clients.
To learn more about your options for your home healthcare Insurance coverage, contact Josh Haisfield - DII's Home Healthcare+ Specialist. He can help you find the coverage that's right for you. https://www.dii-ins.com/specialty-programs/dii-home-health-care-plus/