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The Importance of UI Provider Investigations

Did you know that UIs should be taken just as seriously as MUIs by providers and teams? Why, you might ask? A good UI process can prevent future MUIs from ever occurring. Below are some tips you can implement into your UI investigations that can help prevent MUIs altogether.

Unusual Incidents are any incident involving an individual that is not consistent with routine operations, policies and procedures, or the individual’s care/service plan, but does not meet the criteria of an MUI.

Common examples of UIs include:

  • Falls without a significant injury
  • Medical & medication errors without serious injury risk
  • ER/Urgent Care visits that do not result in admission or significant injuries
  • Peer to Peer interactions that do not qualify as a MUIs
  • Program Implementation incidents

While Summit DD does not investigate UIs, providers of incident are required to conduct investigations into these incidents. Here are some important things to remember when you are investigating the UI. Every UI investigation should identify at least the following:

  1. Name(s) of the individual(s) and other parties directly involved with the incident
  2. A summary of the incident
  3. A description of injuries (if any)
  4. The time, date, and location of the incident
  5. Cause and contributing factors to the incident
  6. A prevention plan

Provider UI investigative Best Practice Tips

  • Ensure the investigative answers the 5 Ws. Who was involved? What Happened? Why did it happen? Where did it happen? When did it happen?
  • Interview the individual served and other parties involved. Obtain witness statements or other documentation of these interviews as appropriate.
  • Review supplemental documentation. Be sure to review other information, such as medical documents, staffing notes, staff training/certifications, etc. to see what info may help to identify causes.
  • Maintain all documents gathered for a UI investigation with the incident file. Agency providers may be asked to provide those by a county board staff at any time to ensure quality of care, so be sure to keep all of this info and documentation together. Note, independent providers must provide the SSA with the UI Report no later than 24 business hours after the occurrence of the UI.
  • Ensure you have a proactive prevention plan that addresses that identified causes. Part of investigating a UI is about trying to prevent future incidents. Do not just state you will continue to monitor. It’s important to have proactive measures as well.
  • Notify team members. Including relevant people (such as SSAs, guardians, etc.) in the UI process is crucial to ensure continuity of care. Be sure to obtain their feedback for the prevention plan as well.
  • Ensure a clear and actionable prevention plan is in place. Make sure the prevention plan identifies who is implementing it and who will be going back to determine if the prevention plan is working within a reasonable timeframe.

Prevention Plans. Creating a quality prevention plan is crucial to prevent future incidents. Here are a few questions to consider when creating a successful prevention plan for an UI:

  • Will this make a difference in the life of this individual (or other individuals)?
  • Have I addressed the main cause/contributing factors of the incident?
  • Have I considered all the possibilities?
  • How will I make sure the prevention plan gets implemented?
  • Have I been respectful of the individual’s rights/choices as I created this plan?

If you have more question about the UI process or would like to obtain UI specific training for your staff, please contact either IA Analyst, Matt Klink at or MUI Senior Manager, Wayne Hershey.

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