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Coordination of Health Care Services 

Assisted living residents will likely have outside health care service providers such as home health or hospice at some point during their stay in the assisted living. It is essential that the facility staff are aware of the services being provided so that necessary monitoring and follow-up can occur.
Because the assisted living facility is ultimately responsible for the resident’s well-being, effective communication with outside healthcare agency staff is paramount. WAC 388-78A-2350 states, “the assisted living facility must coordinate services with external health care providers to meet the residents’ needs, consistent with the resident’s negotiated service agreement.” Coordination of services requires excellent verbal and written communication on all sides.
Disclosing health care information with external health care providers requires all aspects of RCW 70.02.050 be met. Oftentimes an agreement to share health-related information is presented to and signed by a resident during the move-in process; this allows the assisted living to seek out and obtain health-related information from external health care providers.
As the assisted living wellness team learns what services the external provider is offering the resident, this information must be added to the resident’s assessment and negotiated service agreement. This way, if the resident experiences a change in condition or otherwise might need additional or different services, communication with the external provider can occur promptly.
Because the assisted living assumes responsibility for the resident’s overall well-being, staff are responsible to monitor for and respond appropriately to observed or reported changes in the resident’s physical, mental, and emotional functioning.
Documenting verbal communication between assisted living staff and external health care providers captures how and when coordination of services occurs. Visit notes, written by the external health care provider, should be obtained by the assisted living as well. These visit notes might include directions to the assisted living staff, as well as information on the resident’s health status. Be sure to maintain all formal documentation in the resident’s health record.
Questions about assisted living? Email Vicki McNealley or call 1-800-562-6170 extension 107.
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