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If it has not been charted, it has not been done. This adage has been drilled into the minds of healthcare workers and for good reason. So much of a healthcare facility’s reimbursement for services provided is directly linked to what is charted in the patient record. Even though bathing is not a Medicare reimbursed service, if improperly documented or neglected completely, there may be negative consequences.

Why Is Documentation So Important?

CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) surveyors will be interested in your facility’s compliance with ROP (Requirements of Participation). Per the ROP, bathing falls into the area of residents’ rights and patient-centered care. Patients have the right to make choices about their daily routine, and bathing preferences are included. As such, this information must be documented.

According to McKesson, low scores from the ROP could affect the star rating of a facility. This information is available to the public and influences physician referrals as well as potential clients choosing one facility over another. Therefore, baths must be documented giving concrete proof that services have been provided.

How to Properly Document Bathing Info

Simply clicking a check mark to confirm that a bath has been given is not enough. For a bath to meet the requirements of resident’s rights, there are steps that must be taken and documented. McKnight’s Long-Term Care News highlights these essential details that must be ascertained.

Firstly, the resident’s preferences must be determined by assessment within 48 hours of admission to the facility. These preferences must then be updated quarterly or when there is any change in the resident’s status. These resident preferences need to be notated and accessible to all staff members who are providing care. Resident’s preferences would include bathing frequency, time of day, type of bath, and water temperature preferred. These bathing preferences, as well as when baths are provided, should be a regular part of the documentation process.

In Summary

Documenting your residents’ bathing preferences and your follow-through is vital for providing high quality care and for achieving a high score on the ROP survey. By ensuring that your staff members are trained in proper documentation procedures, delivering patient-centered care will be much more efficient.

Having the proper bathing equipment, knowing how to use it and keeping it in good working order is also integral to providing an effective and pleasing bathing experience that will exceed residents’ expectations. Whirlpool spa bathing systems from Apollo Corporation provide the best in caregiver-assisted hygiene.  An enjoyable and relaxing hydrotherapy bath also provides a broad range of therapeutic health benefits. Contact us for more information and discover how we can help make bathing a competitive advantage in your facility.

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