Long-Term Care

MDS 3.0 implemented Friday

MDS 3.0 Insider, October 4, 2010

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After months of anticipation and preparation, the MDS 3.0 was implemented Friday, October 1 – quite possibly the biggest change to hit long-term care in a decade. SNFs across the nation are facing the challenges of adapting to this new assessment tool and will continue to do so in the upcoming months. With so many changes to grasp and processes to perfect, it can be difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel – a time when the MDS 3.0 is no longer a struggle and both the facility and the residents reap the benefits of this improved assessment. It may take some time and a lot of persistence, but your facility will get there. Here are some tips and techniques to help you along way:

  • Frequently discuss the MDS 3.0 with your staff and provide ongoing education to ensure everyone has a comprehensive understanding of the changes, especially those with the most impact.
  • Train staff members on the resident interview process and have them practice as much as possible.
  • Keep an eye on therapy minutes and coding to ensure everyone understands the changes under the MDS 3.0.
  • Analyze activities of daily living (ADL) coding practices. If you are under- or overcoding, find out what the problem is and fix it. Ensure staff members understand the ADL coding and language under the MDS 3.0.
  • Constantly review and, if necessary, revise policies and procedures to fit the new assessment tool.
  • Learn from your mistakes. The MDS 3.0 is a big change for nursing homes and people are bound to make mistakes as they learn how to use this new assessment tool. Rather than sweep those mistakes under the rug and forget about them, analyze what happened and use that knowledge to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.
  • Ensure ongoing accuracy in the MDS 3.0. With such a sweeping change to the resident assessment, it’s critical to make continuous education and training a priority. Stay up to date on MDS 3.0 developments, master the MDS sections, use correct coding techniques, and help your facility adapt to the changes.

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