Ask the nursing expert: What is the single most cited F-tag?

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Ask the nursing expert
Ask the nursing expert

I am new to long-term care and hear about F-tags in our staff meetings. What is the single most cited F-tag?

The single most cited F-tag is F-323, and it has to do with resident safety and supervision.

This regulation ensures that a resident's environment remains free of accident hazards as much as possible and that each resident receives adequate supervision and assistance devices to prevent accidents.

It is really important to take a systematic approach to make sure avoidable accidents are minimized. The entire interdisciplinary team's involvement is crucial. It is important to identify hazards and risks: Every staff member needs to be trained to recognize and report risks immediately.

Once you have identified the risks, examine all of the data and develop interventions to reduce the potential accidents. Be sure the interventions are communicated and then acted upon by all staff involved—not just the staff members who recognized the potential for the hazard.

Then make sure you follow up and re-evaluate your interventions. Remember: Just because you put something into place doesn't mean it will always work the first time!

Many times interventions need to be modified, removed and tried again. You know the saying: “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!”

This F-tag also deals with bed entrapment, wandering and elopement, and environmental hazards.
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