Annals of Long-Term Care: JJ Maskowitz on the Importance of Proper Documentation for Long-Term Care Providers
In an article published in Annals of Long-Term Care on March 17, 2021 Partner James “JJ” Maskowitz discusses the importance of proper documentation for long-term care providers.
“The swiftness of the global spread of the novel coronavirus caught many public health professionals and government leaders off guard and made for a chaotic and reactive situation that underscored the importance of developing, implementing and frequently updating policies and procedures to be better prepared for future emergencies,” Maskowitz writes.
As long-term care facilities established new policies and procedures last year in response to the evolving pandemic, proper recording became essential to mitigating liability.
“2020 taught us that proper documentation is more important than ever before,” he says. “It is often the backbone of any defense strategy in a long-term care setting, and it is even more critical now amid the public health emergency that has claimed more than 500,000 lives in the United States alone.”
Maskowitz further explains the specific items that should be recorded in addition to dates, times and details about the individual who was exposed to or contracted COVID-19. From the cleaning and isolation procedures in place to visitation policies, staff schedules and written communications, facilities must keep detailed records about the circumstances and actions surrounding a COVID-19 exposure.
“Despite the immunity protections of the PREP Act, COVID-19 litigation is already piling up,” he concludes. “It is critical to have a proactive litigation strategy that includes a comprehensive risk mitigation plan centered on regularly updated policies and procedures, an ability to demonstrate that staff were trained and followed those policies and procedures, and proper documentation.”
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