Association defines role of LTC nurse assessment coordinators

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The American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination issued a white paper Wednesday that officially defines the role of nurse assessment coordinators in long-term care facilities.

Under AANAC's new definition, nurse assessment coordinators “promote and embrace person-centered care; improve the quality of care for residents through better communication strategies; and are responsible for collecting health data that is used to create effective care plans and prevent complications and rehospitalizations.”

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 created the role of the nurse assessment coordinator. Since then, that job title often has been referred to as MDS Coordinator. These LTC professionals typically are responsible for completing resident assessments for reimbursement and care management purposes, as mandated by the federal government. But until now, there has not been a formal definition of these coordinators' duties or performance expectations, AANAC said.