Ensuring Resident Hydration- Michigan
CMS F-Tag 692 ensures enough food and fluids are provided to maintain a resident’s health. A long-term-care community was recently found out of compliance with adhering to this requirement due to observed inconsistencies with providing water to residents in their rooms between mealtimes.
During a surveyor interview with a resident, it was reported that the resident had requested cold water however it took several hours before they received it. This triggered the survey team to investigate further into the process for delivering water to residents between mealtimes. They identified a few residents who had a care plan in place for dehydration or potential fluid deficit and monitored if those residents consistently received water in their rooms as indicated on their plan of care. It was determined during their observations that consistent practices were not in place nor followed the community’s policy and procedure on hydration.
It is best practice to institute hydration carts or other methods to provide fluids between meals. Offering a variety of beverage choices including diabetic friendly options and appropriately thickened options per resident need is ideal. For individuals who have been nutritionally assessed and identified at risk for fluid deficit, obtaining preferred between meal beverages and providing those choices will assist with improved intake of needed fluid.
There are many delicious flavor-infused water options and incorporation of high fluid content foods such as gelatins, popsicles, and watermelon to name a few, that can be added to the hydration cart or offered between meals to help increase resident fluid consumption.
Regardless of what method is in place for offering additional fluid, it is only impactful if it is being followed. All staff must be trained in the process. It is a process that must be continuously monitored and audited for compliance to avoid a survey tag as what occurred in this scenario.
It is important to note that additional fluids are not appropriate for all residents. There may be residents who need to restrict the amount of fluid consumed daily. Listing residents who have fluid restrictions and identifying residents who need thickened liquids is a critical component to incorporate with the use of hydrations carts or other methods that are used to provide between meal fluids.
If you need help meeting your resident’s dietary needs, contact us to see how we can help!