Elements of an Investigation Timeline

One area where I consistently fall short is documentation of investigations. If someone had told me the amount of time I would spend as a Nursing Home Administrator investigating suspicious occurrences, I may not have taken the job. The problem for me isn't doing the investigation, it's creating a tangible picture of the steps that I took in the process. And remember, it's all about the root cause.

A quality assurance reviewer suggested that I try a time line approach. The goal is to create a chronological detail to reference each event that you report, investigate, etc. Then any additional documentation you either create for the investigation or need to track down later is already referenced, This is a work in progress, and if you have any suggestions, please add them as a comment below.
  • Time of Incident
  • Time of Report to Nurse
  • Time of Report to Administrator
  • Time of Report to Physician
  • Time of call to 911
  • Time of EMT Arrival
  • Time of Return from the hospital
  • Time that involved employees worked, clocked out
  • Frequency of monitoring
  • Time that additional interventions were put in place
  • Time incident was report to outside agencies
  • Dates for scheduled follow up
  • Date that occurrence was reviewed by Quality Assurance Team
Here are some links for creating different timelines:
Microsoft Word Timelines
Microsoft Excel Timelines

I would recommend creating your timeline for the event as it is happening. At the end of an investigation, attach the timeline to a summary of the event for your reference to the other materials. Remember, better documentation is not just proof of your work, it's a tool that you can use for your own future reference.

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