September 25, 2020

Liability mitigation for the new normal

"Communication and documentation surfaced as the top two strategies providers should implement."

The 2020 Argentum Senior Living Executive Summit included a session on "Liability Mitigation Strategies for the New Normal" featuring speakers from Willis Towers Watson, Atria Senior Living, and Hall Booth Smith. The speakers agreed: communication and documentation are the "top two strategies providers should implement."

Tara J. Clayton, senior claims consultant with Willis Towers Watson, added more detail, saying, "I can't stress enough the importance of communication with staff" and added that the overarching theme in COVID-19 lawsuits so far has been "I wasn't notified what was going on."

Bateau ensures that staff are aware of all changes to policies and protocols. Bateau combines communication and documentation in one platform: instead of uploading policies to SharePoint and then using email or Teams to ask staff to review, operators are using Bateau to upload documents and instantly share them with staff, saving hours of time and ensuring that all staff have been notified.

The panelists also highlighted the importance of documenting policies in terms of insurability. Clayton continued, "Carriers are really asking deeper questions into company policies and procedures. You're going to need to be able to explain and show what processes you're doing and what you're going to be doing in the future to show why you're an insurable risk."

Bateau also automates the time-consuming work of keeping copies of old policies. The advanced version control technology at the heart of Bateau ensures that operators have access to prior versions and can also see which employees "signed-off" on these versions, allowing them to prove that policies were not only in-place but also followed by staff. We developed this functionality after speaking with a senior living COO who told us, "I've lost lawsuits before when the plantiff's attorney said 'Okay, you have a policy... prove that anyone actually followed it' and I couldn't demonstrate that the policy had actually been ready by staff." With Bateau , operators can quickly demonstrate that policies were available to staff, updated regularly, and followed at every community, reducing liability and risk.

Paul Jarvis
CEO and Co-Founder of Bateau