difficult patients

In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that there were 15,600 nursing homes in the United States. These homes were capable of caring for 1.7 million elderly Americans.

If you offer insurance to nursing home providers, handling nursing home risk management is a big concern for you. After all, good risk management skills help your clients better care for their patients and prevent unnecessary insurance claims. The next time you have a consultation, share these tips on how to deal with difficult patients.

Watch Out for Problems

Being proactive about difficult patients is the most effective risk management strategy. By monitoring patients who seem to be irritated about something or who have histories of causing violent scenes, your clients can de-escalate challenging scenarios before they happen.

Take Stock of the Issue

Handling difficult patient encounters starts by figuring out what is actually happening. Why are the patients feeling this way? Have they been provoked by changing circumstances, such as a room swap or a new medication dosage? If your clients can quickly pick up on all the details of a challenging situation, it’s easier for them to meet their clients’ needs.

Avoid Escalating the Situation

When someone else starts yelling, most people naturally respond by yelling as well. Therefore, a key part of nursing home risk management is avoiding a defensive or aggressive attitude. Your clients should focus on the practical issues underlying their patients’ anger and effective solutions to these issues rather than getting caught up in an argument. This is especially challenging but even more necessary when their patients start accusing them of malpractice or negligence.

Listen to Their Side

Listening to their patients with empathy and concern is the best way for your clients to regain control of a challenging situation. If they look their patients in the eye, call them by name, and keep their tone of voice gentle, they create a welcoming environment for their patients to reveal what’s going on. Their patients may take a while to open up, but once they do, they usually calm down without the need for external intervention.

Keep Track of Body Language

When your clients listen to their patients, they must use their body language to prove they’re listening and available. Sitting down demonstrates their willingness to help their patients, and keeping their faces calm, and their muscles relaxed shows that they’re not getting defensive.

Know When to Ask for Help

Knowing when a situation has gotten beyond your clients’ control is also essential to nursing home risk management. They should not be afraid to call for a colleague to help de-escalate a situation or to end a therapy session if it gets dangerous.

About Connected Risk Solutions

At Connected Risk Solutions, we use our expertise and experience to provide insurance information and programs to those who serve long-term care and senior living facilities. Since 2007, we’ve been offering insurance and risk management plans designed to help our agents give their clients the ability to achieve continued growth while simultaneously protecting against loss, containing costs and increasing profitability. With three offices to serve you in Chicago, Illinois; Phoenix, Arizona; and Burlington, Connecticut, we do everything we can to make your experience with us as professional and transparent as possible. To learn more, contact us at (877) 890-9301.