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Six months in

March 1, 2011
by Patricia Sheehan, Editor-in-Chief
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The mad dash to train for, organize, and implement the MDS 3.0 assessment process has come and gone. Long-term care (LTC) administrators have had almost six full months to adjust to and fine-tune the many procedures necessary to meet the demands of this complicated tool. Hopefully you've been able to come up for air before diving back into the ebbing and flowing waters of LTC.

A few administrators I've spoken with are taking the new process in stride. The key to success seems to be good preparation, training, and ongoing staff communication. In fact, one administrator shared with me that her staff had found the tool offered significant benefits over version 2.0. For example, team members have gained valuable insights to resident needs with the new interview process.

Another, Susan Davis, executive director of The Peaks Senior Living Community, Flagstaff, Arizona (and subject of this month's Focus On: Transportation feature), reports that the process has gone very well at her CCRC. “We were prepared for it. We'd gone to the electronic medical record last February. We're getting ready for 2014 to make sure we're on board and we had a lot of MDS 3.0 training prior to our implementation. Yes, it's very labor-intensive-34 screen pages for us-but when we thought our reimbursement would go down it actually went up. I don't think that people understood that we are actually caring for the kinds of patients we're caring for and the new MDS 3.0 with its documentation proved that we do have that higher level of acuity. MDS 2.0 was so heavy into ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) and the 3.0 gives you credit for diagnosis and a lot of higher acuity items.”

In this issue, we feature two articles that focus on MDS 3.0. Leah Klusch, healthcare educator and consultant, sheds light on how an operational approach to the process can benefit the interdisciplinary teams and the organization as a whole. Read her report “Embrace the Operational Approach to MDS 3.0” on page 34. And in this month's MDS Monitor, page 26, Carol Maher takes a micro-view of the process, delving into and interpreting some of the complex language inherent in the tool. You'll want to share these excellent articles with your teams.

Long-Term Living 2011 March;60(3):6

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