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Assisted Living Survey Prep

Article to Help You Achieve Excellent Survey Results


Here are several articles related to state surveys of assisted living facilities. Combined they start to paint a picture of what you can expect.

1. The Assisted Living Survey Process

Noel Hendrickson

While state regulations differ in regards to assisted living facilities, expect that a survey process of some sort is in place in every state.

By way of example, we are using the State of Wisconsin Department of Health Services survey guides as an example.

The standard survey process is used in facilities that do not meet the criteria for an abbreviated or initial survey. Here is a sampling:

  1. Off-site Survey Review
    This task is conducted off-site and establishes the type of survey to be conducted. The purpose is to gain an understanding of the facility client group served, compliance and complaint history, any changes since the last survey and any areas of concern.

  2. Introductory Meeting with Staff in Charge
    The purpose of this task is to make introductions, explain the survey process and request needed materials. The surveyor provides the licensee or designated representative a copy of the Survey Guide, a checklist that identifies documents needed for review during the survey process and a post survey questionnaire. This is a brief task that provides an overview of the consumer population and the services the facility provides.

  3. Tour
    The surveyor will tour the facility with staff, if available, and meet as many consumers and staff as possible. During the tour, the surveyor's attention focuses on consumer rights, dignity and privacy, the environment and safety.

  4. Sample Selection
    The purpose of this task is to draw a sample of consumers receiving services.

2. State Survey Process Plans of Correction

Barry Yee

In this article we look at plans of correction, actions you may need to take as a result of surveyor findings.

Established completion dates may be set by the state or it may be specified that the plan of correction be reviewed the next time an assisted living surveyor is at the facility.

Failure to correct a citation by the date specified may result in sanctions according to applicable statutes and administrative code provisions, and may include:

  • A forfeiture or an increased forfeiture.
  • Suspension of admissions.
  • Imposed plan of correction by the department.
  • Suspension or revocation of the facility's license.

Facilities must submit a plan of correction (POC) for each violation identified in the statement of deficiency. Plans of correction must be completed and mailed to the appropriate regional office within 30 calendar days following receipt of the statement of deficiencies.

3. Assisted Living Satisfaction

Shannon Fagan

Put your survey prep in the context of resident satisfaction. If at the end of the day, you are meeting resident and family needs, chances are you are also meeting all of the survey criteria as well.

The first national survey measuring the satisfaction of residents, family and staff of assisted living facilities concludes that when it comes to assisted living satisfaction, residents seem very happy while workers are less so. The latter impacts the former. But overall things are looking good for the industry.

Assisted living is not as highly regulated as nursing homes and because of state regulatory definitions and structure, what constitutes an assisted living facility varies. Yet the wants and needs of residents, families and employees is not much different than their nursing home counterparts.

4. Assisted Living Definitions Part One

Here are some useful assisted living definitions that could come in handy when communicating with regulators, staff, families and residents.

  1. "Activities of daily living (ADLs)" means tasks usually performed in the course of a normal day in a resident's life that include eating, walking, mobility, dressing, grooming, bathing, toileting and transferring.

  2. "Administrator" means the person designated on the facility application or by written notice to the department as the person responsible for the daily operation of the facility and for the daily resident care provided in the facility.

  3. "Advance directive" means a written instruction, such as a living will, a do not resuscitate (DNR) order or durable power of attorney (POA) for health care, recognized under state law relating to the provision of health care when the individual is incapacitated.

5. Assisted Living Definitions Part Two

Let's continue our parade of definitions. Here is a preview.

  1. "PRN medication" means an administration scheme, in which a medication is not routine, is taken as needed and requires the licensed health care professional or individual resident's cognitive assessment and judgment for need and effectiveness.

  2. "Resident" means anyone at least 18 years of age accepted for care in an assisted living facility.

  3. "Resident agreement" means a signed, dated, written document that lists all charges, services, refunds and move out criteria.

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