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Your response to resident interviews in assessing quality

June 11, 2009
by Kevin Kolus
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What do you think of the coming MDS 3.0 emphasis on resident interviews to assess quality for survey?


- I think it has always been included if an MDS was done well. If not, there was too much room for error. We will see how this unfolds.

- It’s a good idea, but very time consuming in an era with cutbacks and staffing crunches.

- Since the beginning the MDS has, like anything the government is involved in, grown. It has gone from a staff nurse "spending 15 minutes to complete" to needing two full-time nurses for a medium sized facility. Fifteen minutes was stated per the state.

- Being that the residents are the consumer, it is imperative that facilities get their input on how to provide quality care. At times, surveys also bring forth concerns that may not otherwise have been reported.

- They still think boxes and indicators are the answer. Where does quality environment, great staff, and attitude fit? Life happens and we don’t have time to bring “essence” of fun and excitement to the job. Boxes, checks, etc….

- I believe that this is one of the only ways to really find out what happens, but is also fraught with difficulty because residents also feel loyal to the facility too.
Ralph Hampson, Melbourne, Australia

- As Medicare and Medicaid decrease funds, facilities decrease staff. So many people have to wear multiple hats. Who is left to do their work and this too???

- Resident interviews should be part of the entire quality survey. It is also informative to interview the resident’s family/friends. Join in on the debate by adding your comments in the box below.

Kevin Kolus

Kevin Kolus


Kevin Kolus wrote for Long-Term Living when he was an editor. He left the brand in 2012...



So much time has been diverted to completing necessary paperwork. What about the quality hands on time that our residents need? I believe our elderly are not getting as much hands on caring time as the could be if not for all the paperwork.

I believe that the only way you will get truthful answers is if you have the surveys done in private through the ombudsmans office. Family or patient advocates should also have a survey section.

Most effective administrators and DONs do this intuitively when they visit with their residents - however setting a standard through MDS 3.0 is logical and necessary as cutbacks and consolidations coupled with an aging population make this essential to maintain standards

As a resident, I have taken the resident survey recently. It made me quite uncomfortable. Most of my answers were "sometimes". It is impossible to be specific about concerns. I also felt very uncomfortable answering these questions with a staff person, usually a department head, looking at me. They insisted that they wanted me to be truthful and I really tried to be.

I understand that doing the surveys is a requirement. But I would much prefer doing them in private. It would be great if it could be completed online when needed. I know that won't work for everyone but it would work for me. I also think that a comment section that we can complete in private would be appropriate.