Two recent Florida Supreme Court rulings against Florida nursing homes have raised the cost of accidents and mistakes for these Florida companies. In both Shotts v. OP Winter Haven and Gessa v. Manor Care of Florida, the court struck down a segment of nursing home arbitration clauses that put in place damage caps that fell below what is legally recoverable in state court. This opens the door for much higher claims, including punitive damages, for accidents and mistakes in the homes.
So what are nursing homes to do? While legal recourse might bear fruit in years to come, it is doubtful. What is within their control is the frequency of claims. No matter what the limits of liability or punitive damages, the fewer the claims the lower the costs will be. But how?
Accidents and mistakes come in two categories: preventable and non-preventable. While the exact number of accidents that are caused by human error is not known, a Harvard study concluded that 58% of the ‘adverse events’ identified in this study were labeled “preventable.” That’s good news for the nursing homes because there is something they can do to affect the number of preventable accidents in their facilities. They can hire safer employees!
Studies have shown that, just like some people tend to get speeding tickets and some don’t, some people tend to make mistakes and have accidents and some don’t. No matter how complete the policies and procedures of the facility, there are some people that mess up more than others. Mines, trucking companies and shipping lines know this well. For many years they have used a tool that can accurately identify those more accident prone people even before they get to an interview. The Predictive Index® is a behavioral assessment tool that identifies the behavioral tendencies of individuals. Since it is EEOC compliant it can also be used as a pre-hiring selection tool. PI® can predict which candidates are likely to make mistakes and have accidents and which are not. The results of the study speak for themselves:
55 percent reduction in lost time cases
29 percent reduction in OSHA-recordable cases
14 percent reduction in overall claim count
37 percent reduction in at-fault accidents
Putting the right people in the right job means more than just fewer accidents. Predictive Index® clients see lower turnover, higher tenure, improved patient care and higher productivity.
I am certainly not saying that smart hiring will fully mitigate the increased exposure caused by the recent rulings, but it will certainly make a dramatic reduction in potential suits and help your business in many other ways.
Predictive Results is a Predictive Index® consulting company with offices in Florida, Georgia. For copies of the related studies and an opportunity to learn more about how we can help your nursing home protect the bottom line, contact us at 904-269-2299 or firstname.lastname@example.org