Officials: New MDS takes about half the time to complete

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The new Minimum Data Set 3.0 will increase clinical relevance, accuracy and clarity, and give residents a greater voice in data collection when it is implemented next year, experts announced.
And providers will be able to complete the form in 45% less time on average.

Federal officials said Thursday that a variety of nurses who weren't yet familiar with the new format still averaged a completion time of just 61 minutes in test areas. That's down from an average of 112 minutes under the current MDS 2.0, said lead researcher Debra Saliba, MD, MPH, of the RAND Corporation. Saliba detailed changes and research findings during a Special Open Door Forum hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. It attracted a record 2,768 attendees and listeners.

Ironically, the number of pages in the MDS will actually increase, experts noted. Not all will have to be filled out, however.

Key evaluation areas that have been revised include mood, behavior disorders, mental status, delirium, pain, falls, quality of life and diagnostic coding.

Among the noteworthy findings from a five-year validation study, according to Saliba: Resident self-reporting for depression and pain evaluation is both feasible and efficient. In general, residents will have more say in completing the MDS 3.0.

Some 3,800 residents in eight states took part in various MDS 3.0 testing. Nurses using the new instrument reported overwhelming support for its ease of use and ability to discern more important information, CMS officials said.

To access the latest MDS 3.0 documents, and slides from Thursday's special session, visit Click on the "Special Open Door Forums" link on the left and then go to the downloads section.

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