Serious Reportable Incidents (SRI)

Serious Reportable Incidents (SRI) are defined as any situation in which the participant experiences a perceived or actual threat to his/her health and welfare or to his/her ability to remain in the community. These incidents must be reported to DOH WMS through the QMS assigned to that region using the process outlined in this section of the Program Manual. Some of these incidents must also be reported to Adult Protective Services and/or the police.

Classifications of SRI include:

1. Allegations of Abuse and Neglect are defined as the maltreatment or mishandling of a participant which would endanger his/her physical or emotional well-being through the action or inaction of anyone, including but not limited to, any employee, intern, volunteer, consultant or contractor of any waiver service provider, or another waiver participant, family member, friend, or others, whether or not the participant is or appears to be injured or harmed.

The types of allegation(s) of abuse and neglect must be classified in the SRI report as one of the following:

  1. Physical Abuse is defined as physical actions such as hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, hurling, strangling, shoving, unauthorized or unnecessary use of physical interventions, or other mishandling of a participant. Physical contact that is not necessary for the safety of the person and causes discomfort to the participant or the use of more force than is reasonably necessary is also considered to be physical abuse.

    Emergency situations where physical intervention is used to assure the health and welfare of the participant or others must also be reported as a Serious Reportable Incident.

  2. Sexual Abuse is defined as any sexual contact between a participant and any employee, intern, volunteer, consultant or contractor of the waiver service provider providing services to the participant. Sexual abuse may also occur with any other person living in the community if it is non-consensual or if, according to New York State law, the participant is not competent to consent. Sexual contact is defined as the touching or fondling of the sexual or other body parts of a person for the purpose of gratifying the sexual desire of either party, whether directly or through clothing. Sexual contact also includes causing a person to touch someone else for the purpose of arousing or gratifying personal sexual desires. Forcing or coercing a participant to watch, listen to, or read material of a sexual nature is also considered sexual abuse. A situation in which one participant has a sexual contact with another participant, who is either not capable of consent to or did not agree to participate in the relationship, is considered to be a Serious Reportable Incident.

  3. Psychological Abuse is defined as the infliction of anguish, emotional pain or distress. Emotional or psychological abuse includes but is not limited to verbal assaults, insults, threats, intimidation, ridicule, humiliation, scorn, contempt, dehumanization or harassment, or are otherwise denigrating or socially stigmatizing. Manipulation, treating an adult like an infant, isolating an individual from family, friends or regular activities, and enforcing social isolation are further examples. The use of language and/or gestures and a tone of voice, such as screaming or shouting at or in the presence of a participant, may in certain circumstances, constitute psychological abuse.

  4. Seclusion is defined as the placement of the waiver participant alone in a locked room or area from which he/she cannot leave at will, or from which his/her normal egress is prevented by someone's direct and continuousphysical action.

    The act of seclusion should not be confused with a limited quiet time procedure. Quiet time is a procedure in which a waiver participant is accompanied by staff away from an activity for a brief period of time to help the participant recompose him/herself. In addition, the participant may request time alone for this same purpose. In removing the participant from ongoing activity, the objective is to offer a changed environment in which the individual may calm down. The use of quiet time is not considered to be an incident unless it is excessive or used as a punishment.

  5. Use of Aversive Conditioning is defined as the use of unpleasant or uncomfortable procedures when trying to change the behaviors of a participant.

  6. Violation of Civil Rights is defined as action or inaction that deprives a participant of the ability to exercise his or her legal rights, as articulated in State or federal law (e.g., the Americans with Disabilities Act).

  7. Mistreatment is defined as a deliberate decision to act toward the participant in a manner that goes against that person's individual human rights, the Service Plan, or in a manner that is not generally considered acceptable professional practice.

  8. Neglect is defined as a condition of deprivation in which a participant's health and welfare is jeopardized because of inconsistent or inappropriate services, treatment or care which does not meet their needs, or failure to provide an appropriate and/or safe environment. Failure to provide appropriate services, treatment or medical care through gross error in judgment and inattention is considered to be a form of neglect. For example, neglect occurs if a Service Coordinator is aware that an agency listed in a Service Plan cannot provide the requested services, but does not seek an alternate waiver service provider to meet the participant's needs.

  9. Exploitation (financial or material) is defined as the illegal or improper use of an individual's funds, property, or assets. Examples include, but are not limited to, cashing an individual's checks without authorization or permission; forging an individual's signature; misusing or stealing an individuals' money or possessions; coercing or deceiving an individual into signing any document (e.g., contracts or will); and the improper use of guardianship, conservatorship or power of attorney.

2. Missing Person is defined as unexpected absence of a participant from his/her home or scheduled waiver service. When the absence of a participant constitutes a recognized danger to the well being of that individual or others, a formal search must be initiated immediately. This includes contacting informal supports, the Service Coordinator (if not the one discovering the participant's absence), and the police.

For those not considered in immediate danger to self or others, consideration should be given to the missing person's habits, deficits, capabilities, health problems, etc. in making the decision of when to begin a formal search, but this must be initiated no more than 24-hours after discovery that the participant is missing.

3. Restraint is defined as the act of limiting or controlling a person's actions or behavior through the use of any device which prevents the free movement of any limb; any device or medication which immobilizes a person; any device which is ordered by a physician for the expressed purpose of controlling behavior in an emergency; or any medication as ordered by a physician which renders the participant unable to satisfactorily participate in services, community inclusion time or other activities.

Note: This does not preclude the use of mechanical supports to provide stability necessary for therapeutic measures such as immobilization of fractures, administration of intravenous fluids or other medically necessary procedures.

4. Death of a Waiver Participant is defined as any cessation of life, regardless of cause. The follow-up report of the investigation submitted to the QMS must include information concerning the death, and if obtainable medical records, death certificate, police reports, autopsy reports, EMS records, emergency room records and any other information deemed relevant.

5. Hospitalization is defined as any unplanned admission to a hospital as a result of an accident/injury or non-accident (e.g. medical condition) to the participant.

Note: The planned overnight use of a hospital for any procedure is not considered a Serious Reportable Incident, but should be noted in the subsequent Revised Service Plan, and is considered to be a Recordable Incident.

Note: Select either "Hospitalization" (#5) OR "Medical Treatment Due to Accident or Injury" (#9), but not both.

6. Possible Criminal Action is defined as any action by a participant that is or appears to be a crime under New York State or federal law.

7. Medication Error/Refusal is defined as any situation in which a participant experiences marked adverse reactions which threaten his/her health and welfare due to: refusing to take prescribed medication; taking medication in an incorrect dosage, form, or route of administration; taking medication on an incorrect schedule; taking medication which was not prescribed; or, the failure on the part of the staff of a provider of waiver services to properly follow the plan for assisting the participant in self-medication.

8. Medical Treatment is defined as any medical intervention(s) provided as a direct result of an accident/injury or non-accident (e.g. related to a medical condition) to the participant, regardless of whether hospitalization is required or not. This includes the use of an Emergency Room.

Note: Select either "Medical Treatment Due to Accident of Injury" (#9) OR "Hospitalization" (#5) but not both.

9. Sensitive Situation is defined as any situation which needs to be brought to the attention of DOH WMS through the QMS, as expeditiously as possible, and does not fit within the categories described above. This includes any situation that would threaten the participant's ability to remain in the community or the health and welfare of the participant, such as the admission to a psychiatric facility/unit or substance abuse facility/unit.