What we learned at the DRI Nursing Home/ALF Litigation Seminar

Every year, we look forward to the DRI Nursing Home/ALF Litigation Seminar to collaborate with leaders on the newest trends and strategies in the long-term care industry. Each session gives our team an opportunity to access cutting-edge information related to the latest changes in legislation and clinical management strategies.

Here are a few of our favorite sessions from the DRI Nursing Home/ALF Litigation in Atlanta, Georgia this year:

Managing Wound Care Risk Exposure with Karen Lou Kennedy-Evans

Karen Lou Kennedy-Evans’ session offered an interesting perspective on the evolution of a clinical concept involving the use of the laboratory values albumin and prealbumin. As legal nurse consultants responsible for investigating pressure injury claims, often times we see albumin and prealbumin levels used by counsel to make a point about the stability or instability of a resident’s nutritional status. Karen’s talk however emphasized the importance of examining the serum albumin levels in consideration of the overall morbidity and mortality of the resident, versus any possible nutrition issue.

It is really helpful for our team of nurses to hear perspectives such as this from leaders in the industry, like Karen, who are able to identify what’s important clinically and what’s not in building a defense. As fellow clinicians involved in long-term care case reviews, we appreciate her perspective in helping us stay focused on the important issues at hand and how we can best use that information to strengthen our defense.

Defending the Elopement and Fall Case: Tips and Tools that Must be Part of your Defense with Frank Alvarez and Ashlee Gray

For long term care facilities, it’s extremely important to have an elopement strategy and to perform elopement drills for preventative management. During this session, Frank Alvarez and Ashlee Gray emphasized how many nursing homes don’t have a comprehensive elopement plan in place and of those that do, many do not routinely drill the plan with the staff. They reiterated the importance of why it’s essential to properly assess a resident’s elopement risk and implement risk reduction strategies. At ALN Consulting, we echo this sentiment. We have seen many instances of elopement result in tragedy for residents of skilled nursing homes with subsequent filing of legal claims with potentially substantial settlements. We cannot stress enough how important it is for facilities to develop elopement strategies, document those strategies and practice elopement drills consistently.

Stage IV – F314 and the Four-Prong Test for Defending Pressure Ulcers with Aimee Garcia

During this session, Aimee Garcia did an excellent job outlining alternative theories for unavoidable skin breakdown. Dr. Garcia emphasized that it’s extremely important for the defense team to understand clinical unavoidability and how to use this concept to help craft a defense strategy. She reiterated how important it is for the defense team to investigate how well facilities evaluate the resident’s risk for skin breakdown. Other key takeaways include: implementing appropriate interventions for prevention and management of skin breakdown, monitoring the impact of those interventions, and revising the plan where appropriate. Overall, prevention is the goal in minimizing skin breakdown.

ALN Consulting continues to become a growing force in the industry. We are proud to be a part of the DRI community, and appreciate opportunities like the Nursing Home/ALF Litigation Seminar to strengthen our partnerships in the industry and network with our long term care colleagues. The ALN Consulting team is a leading provider of medical-legal consulting services nationwide. Contact us today to add our expertise to your next case.