Can you have an elopement event when the resident does not leave the facility, ex: found in the business office?
Yes, this situation could be considered an elopement. Per CMS, “A situation in which a resident leaves the premises or a safe area without the facility’s knowledge and supervision, if necessary, would be considered an elopement.” (CMS Appendix PP of State Operations Manual (2023)). It is important that safeguards are put in place to protect residents from unsafe areas in the facility. Part of your risk assessment process should include identifying unsafe areas in the facility, such as hazards present in office areas or other areas that residents may have access to, and determining what actions you can take to reduce the likelihood of accidents if a resident enters the area and additional safeguards to prevent unsupervised resident access to the area.
Shelly Maffia RN, MSN, MBA, LNHA, QCP, CHC, CLNC, CPC
Director of Regulatory Services
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