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Abuse Prevention: Potential Costs

By Heather Brown
December 19, 2014

The short and long term emotional and physical effects of abuse and/or misconduct on residents are obvious and devastating. The short and long term effects on the organization are less obvious, but extremely devastating, nonetheless.

Short Term Cost and Impact on the Facility

  • Investigation expense
    • Temporary replacement service expense
    • Facility operation without accused employee during investigation
    • Expense and burden of filling in for removed staff member
    • Legal representation expense
    • Punitive financial penalties
    • Expense of response counseling to residents and/or residents family
    • Expense of potential response counseling to employee/employees
    • Expense of permanent replacement service to resident
    • Individual prosecution of supervising and executive management

Long Term Cost and Impact on the Facility

  • Loss of funding reimbursement for resident involved
    • Loss of funding for other residents
    • Impaired reputation
    • Negative morale impact on remaining staff
    • Loss of ability to recruit top notch employees
    • Inability to obtain related insurance
    • Loss of license to operate
    • Loss of contracts to provide services

As with any general safety issue, the problem needs to be clearly identified. In this case, it is abuse, which includes neglect and/or molestation, including related misconduct. Executive management must first acknowledge the exposure for it to have credence with lower management, direct care workers, volunteers, independently contracted providers of service, and the resident themselves. It is best accomplished through a written statement, employee handbook, standard operating procedures, job descriptions, and contractual agreement. Any recognition and prevention efforts must be first embraced at the top for them to be observed through the operation.

Next, the statement, prevention activities, and control techniques must be implemented. Implementation must involve written procedures and tangible activities.

Communication, documentation, and monitoring are the other key elements of successful implementation.

To obtain a sample copy of the following simply logon to and click on resources on the right hand menu to find:

  • Prevention Statement
  • Video on Implementing Abuse prevention program
  • Abuse Policy & Rules
  • Hiring & Screening Procedures

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