This week’s Ftag of the Week is F565 Resident/Family Group and Response, which is part of the Resident Rights regulatory group. This regulation outlines the rights of residents to both organize and participate in resident groups without the facility interfering, but also addresses the facility’s response to issues raised.
The facility is required to provide a resident or family group with private space if it has it, for them to meet, with staff/visitors/others attending the meetings only if they have been invited. Residents, per the regulation, have the right to participate in family meetings. Residents also have the right to have family members/resident representatives meet in the facility with other families/resident representatives. It is also the responsibility of the facility to take “reasonable” steps to let residents/families know when there will be meetings taking place.
The facility has to designate a member of the staff to help assist with and respond to written requests / complaints / grievances that result from the meeting. The staff member must be approved by the group members. The requirements for Grievances were greatly expanded under the RoPs, and this is evident in F565 as well. The facility, under this regulation, is required to act promptly on the grievances and recommendations of the groups. The Interpretive Guidance states that to the extent practicable, facility staff must consider their recommendations and attempt to accommodate them, including revising or developing new policies related to resident life and care. The facility’s decisions need to be discussed with the resident/family group and the facility’s decision also needs to be documented, including rationale, as required at F585 Grievances.
On survey, during the Entrance Conference, the surveyors will check if there is a Resident or Family Council. If there is, they will interview representatives from the group. They will ask how grievances and recommendations are considered, addressed (or not addressed) and acted upon, and how the facility provides its responses to the residents. Below is a sampling of actual survey citations regarding resident grievances identified during meetings that were not responded to by the facility – sometimes for lengthy periods of time:
- Lengthy wait times for call bells – staff telling residents “you’re not my patient” and turning the call bell off, or telling residents “I’m too busy”
- Lack of sufficient staffing – showers, not getting up in time for morning activities
- Dining room staff ignoring resident requests for help and chatting amongst themselves instead of interacting with residents
- Food temperatures, late food deliveries and poor food quality
- Insufficient available linens
- Suggestions for activities programming
Looking at the residents’ and families’ Grievances and suggestions provides insight into potential systems issues. A savvy surveyor would look at these issues, see they weren’t followed up on and then go take a look at these areas, which could results in the identification of deficient practices. Shouldn’t you do the same and ensure Grievances are promptly followed up on?