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Q: Our registered nurse (RN) assessment coordinator forgot to sign some MDSs at item R2a. She no longer works at our facility, and we are unsure how to get these signed. If we aren't able to locate her and get her signature, can another RN sign the MDS?

Julia's PPS Chat, September 15, 2004

Welcome once again to our PPS chat!

How many times every day do you sign your name? For some of us, the number is very high! Do you always read everything on the material you are signing? For some of us, the answer might be no!

When signing the MDS, it is very important to recognize what your signature means. Read on to find an interesting question and answer about signatures-

Q: Our registered nurse (RN) assessment coordinator forgot to sign some MDSs at item R2a. She no longer works at our facility, and we are unsure how to get these signed.

If we aren't able to locate her and get her signature, can another RN sign the MDS?

A: The RN assessment coordinator signature at R2a states that the MDS is complete. This signature does not attest to the accuracy of the MDS. Each person who actually completes a portion of the MDS must sign, date, and list the sections he or she completed. Only signatures in item AA9 attest to the accuracy of responses on the form.

Therefore, the RN who is signing in R2a only needs to review the MDS to make sure the form is complete and check that all individuals who completed a portion of the form have signed and attested to the accuracy of their sections.

You can have another RN sign and date the form, but be sure the date in item R2b is the date the RN actually signs the form. Do not put in an earlier date. Also be sure the RN reviews the form for completeness-if any sections are not complete, these must be done prior to the RN signature.

The date in R2b cannot be prior to any other signature dates. The earliest date that could be in item R2b is the latest date of the team members' signatures of attestation.

So, make sure your signature is on the MDS and dated appropriately. Don't miss signing any MDSs; have a system in place so you know what needs to be signed. Your signature is important!

We'll be chatting again soon about tracking systems-