The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.

New bed rail guidance and FAQs for AL providers

Doug Beardsley
By Doug Beardsley  |  June 24, 2022  |  Assisted living providers

On June 16, 2022, MDH's Health Regulation Division issued new bed rail guidance for assisted living (AL) providers for both hospital-style bed rails and consumer bed rails. The new guidance covers details about appropriate bed rail use, assessment, monitoring, and documentation. The new guidance also includes links to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) for the latest bed rail safety recommendations. We are appreciative of the MDH staff’s willingness to meet with us over the past weeks in developing this new standard, after we had expressed concerns over AL licensure citations we were seeing in this area.

The provider must ensure the resident is an appropriate candidate for bed rails, and that the bed rails are not being used as a substitute for proper monitoring, especially for residents at high risk for entrapment. If a resident utilizes either a hospital bed or consumer bed rail device, providers should conduct a bed rail assessment following the appropriate guidance to determine whether the bed rail is safe for the resident. For both hospital-style and consumer bed rails, the provider should assess the resident’s need for bedrails upon installation, with each 90-day assessment, and upon a change with the resident’s condition. Refer to Minn. Rule 4659.0150

For hospital beds with bedrails, the provider should refer to the published FDA recommendations for appropriate bed rail assessment with measurement guidance to determine whether the bed rail is safe for the resident. The provider should document the bed rail measurements in the resident’s record and ensure the bed rails are securely attached and have not shifted.

For consumer bed rails, there is currently no published bed rail guidance related to portable or non-hospital style beds, so the provider should refer to the individual manufacturer’s guidelines for appropriate bed rail installation, maintenance, and use. 

To learn more details about bedrail safety and Minnesota’s Assisted Living statutory requirements, please refer to MDH’s “Assisted Living Resources and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” page.   

Doug Beardsley  |  Vice President of Member Services  |  |  952-851-2489



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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.

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