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We always seem to be training our staff in how to complete the MDS. Will they ever learn everything they need to about that process?

We always seem to be training our staff in how to complete the MDS. 
Will they ever learn everything they need to about that process? 

Accurate completion of the MDS remains a critical component of your assessment process. We continue to find that facilities lose reimbursement due to inaccuracy of the MDS in both the Medicare and Case Mix Medicaid programs. 

As we continue to remain focused on reimbursement we need to remember that the MDS also is used for other processes. So keep in mind that the MDS is the foundation of care that we provide to residents. When we talk about the nursing process, CMS describes the process as identify, evaluate, implement, monitor and modify. 

The “identify” in that scenario describes the assessment process that starts with the MDS. We assess the present clinical status of the resident and risks; we work the RAPs to develop the Plan of Care; we implement the Plan of Care; and we periodically review and revise it.

In 2007, we have seen a tremendous rise in the number of Immediate Jeopardy citations in surveys. One of the main causes of those citations is the failure to follow the nursing process and Standards of Clinical Practice.

The Quality Measures/Quality Indicators also result from the MDS data and are the impetus of survey observations in your facility. Now, as 2008 approaches, the Quality Indicator Survey (QIS) process being developed may roll out to other states. The QIS survey process uses data elements from the MDS to initiate the sampling that the state surveyors use. So again, MDS accuracy is essential to ensure that your long-term care facility is evaluated appropriately. 

Therefore, when we look at the importance of training and retraining your staff in MDS accuracy, the time and energy to do that is time and money well spent. 
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