A review and characterization of the MDS process in nursing homes

J Gerontol Nurs. 2008 Oct;34(10):36-44. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20081001-01.


The Minimum Data Set (MDS) is a tool used by nursing homes for resident assessment and care planning, indicating facility quality and the extent of residents' care needs. The process by which the MDS is completed by facilities has not been empirically studied. Understanding common strategies and practices for completing the MDS helps further comprehend the validity of the MDS and its relevance for focusing on residents and implementing clinical nursing interventions. This article reports on the responses to a survey questionnaire addressing this process by a sample of nursing homes in Ohio. The MDS assessment was found to be an intensive activity requiring the commitment of multiple staff members. Most facilities employed at least one full-time coordinator for this task. The importance of training was noted by a number of facilities, and the Resident Assessment Instrument manual was highlighted as one of the most valued resources for completing this assessment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Forms and Records Control / organization & administration*
  • Forms and Records Control / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Nursing Assessment / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Nursing Homes / organization & administration*
  • Nursing Homes / statistics & numerical data
  • Ohio
  • Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Prospective Payment System
  • United States
  • Vocabulary, Controlled*
  • Workload