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3 Documents All Nursing Home Residents Should Know

Guy DiMartino Oct. 24, 2016

The 3 Documents All Nursing Home Residents Must Know

If you are going to place a loved one in an Indiana nursing home, you have to be a strong advocate, and having knowledge about the system, will give you the upper hand in protecting your loved one.

There are three important documents for all nursing home residents that you should learn about:

MDS - Minimum Data Set

The first document is the minimum data set or MDS: The MDS is a comprehensive assessment of the resident's functional capabilities and helps the nursing home staff identify health problems.

The MDS triggers other specific assessments based on its findings. For instance, if the MDS shows that that the resident is a potential fall risk – it will trigger a fall risk assessment.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid say this about the MDS:

This process provides a comprehensive assessment of each resident's functional capabilities and helps nursing home staff identify health problems. Care Area Assessments (CAAs) are part of this process, and provide the foundation upon which a resident's individual care plan is formulated. MDS assessments are completed for all residents in certified nursing homes, regardless of source of payment for the individual resident. MDS assessments are required for residents on admission to the nursing facility, periodically, and on discharge. All assessments are completed within specific guidelines and time frames. In most cases, participants in the assessment process are licensed health care professionals employed by the nursing home. MDS information is transmitted electronically by nursing homes to the national MDS database at CMS.

RAP – Resident Assessment Protocol (PLAN)

The RAP is the foundation for the resident's individual care plan. The RAPs are problem-oriented frameworks for additional assessment based on problem identification items (triggered conditions). They form a critical link to decisions about care planning to foster good care and prevent injury.

ICP- Individualized (individual) Care Plan

The third document is the individual or specific care plan. This care plan sets out interventions to minimize a resident's potential injuries. For instance, if the resident is high risk to develop pressure sores,the care plan may call for a special mattress, extra hydration, frequent inspections, and a turning and repositioning schedule to minimize the breakdown of tissue.

So all in all, the MDS, RAP and ICP work together in assessing, protecting and providing the essential needs and treatment for the safety and protection of all nursing home residents.