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Q: My director of nursing believes that the RN assessment coordinator signature in item R2a states that the MDS is correct and accurate. I was taught that the RN signature only means that the MDS is complete. Who is correct?

Julia's PPS Chat, November 9, 2005

Welcome again to our PPS chat!

How many times per day do you sign your name? If you're like many people in healthcare, you probably sign your name so frequently that even you have a hard time reading it.

What does your signature mean on the MDS? Read on to find out the answer-

Q: My director of nursing believes that the RN assessment coordinator signature in item R2a states that the MDS is correct and accurate. I was taught that the RN signature only means that the MDS is complete. Who is correct?

A: Anyone who completes any section or item of the MDS must sign in item AA9. These signatures attest to the accuracy of the information that each individual completed.

The RN signature in item R2a certifies that the MDS is complete. However, the RN is not verifying the accuracy of the information that each individual entered on the MDS form.

Because the RN states with his or her signature that the MDS is complete, the date of this signature in R2b cannot be earlier than the latest signature date in item AA9. For example, if the last person to complete a section of the MDS signed and dated the signature on April 15, the RN signature date would need to be April 15 or later. It could not be prior to April 15, because the MDS was not complete prior to that date.

Make sure that you understand the importance of all the signatures on the MDS. Even though you are signing your name to papers all the time, remember that your signature is significant to the MDS.

Until we chat again about skilling residents for therapy and nursing reasons-