MDS insight found lacking

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Long-term care staffers' understanding of the Minimum Data Set and its Quality Indicators is “mediocre at best,” according to recent survey results. Lack of exposure and involvement are key reasons why nurse aides especially feel they are out of the loop.

The MDS helps determine how resident care is classified and, therefore, reimbursed. 

Nurse managers would like to see direct-care aides more involved in MDS and Quality Indicator matters, research conducted in Veterans Affairs facilities that were then using MDS 2.0 reveals.

Survey respondents identified six key ways that providers could enhance their staff members' understanding of the 16 MDS Quality Indicators. They begin with education/training (35% of respondents), which would include structured and/or in-service programs. Next, they suggest increased involvement (19%), meaning engagement in computation, review and interpretation of the QIs.

Ongoing informal training and reminders (18%), meaningful application (13%) and simplification of the MDS and/or QIs (6%) were the next most frequently recommended.

Investigators at the University of Alabama sent a questionnaire to clinical leaders at VA facilities nationwide. They received 289 responses, primarily from MDS coordinators and nurse managers.

The findings appear in the Journal of Nursing Research.