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I discussed with you a bit about the Tasks one expects to see a nursing home surveyor conduct during a “QIS” nursing home survey. Those tasks are different than those conducted in a traditional nursing home survey. A nursing home surveyor will have 7 tasks in a traditional survey.

Task 1: Offsite Survey Preparation. This is where the nursing home survey team identifies issues that might be seen based on their review of documents that include the previous survey, the facility’s history of survey compliance and a review of the facility’s complaint history. During this time the team will also gather information from a database to compare the facility to others in the state and the nation. Concerns of the ombudsman are also reviewed. There may also be issues the team is aware of such a news reports, lawsuits and such. This information is also reviewed prior to the survey to help identify issues that need reviewed during the survey. During this time the team may decide they need specialty surveyors to attend the survey.

Task 2: Entrance Conference/Onsite Preparatory Activities. During this time the team coordinator informs the facility’s administrator about the survey and introduces team members. The rest of the team then begins Task 3 (The initial tour) while the team coordinator talks with the Administrator and gathers additional information. The SOM requires the team coordinator get specific information during the time of this entrance conference.

Task 3: The Initial Tour. During this time the nursing home surveyor gathers information about concerns which have been pre-selected; new concerns discovered onsite; and whether residents pre-selected for the Phase 1 sample offsite are still present in the facility. The surveyors will attempt to meet and talk with as many residents as possible. The nursing home surveyors can do the tour by themselves or accompanied by facility staff.

Task 4: Sample Selection. During this task, which occurs after the initial tour, the nursing home survey team will finalize the issues and the sample of residents that they will concentrate on during the first phase (Phase I) of the nursing home survey. Most of the time the team will continue to use the set of residents they selected during the off-site preparation, but there are times when they will substitute other residents. The SOM gives the survey team specific instructions on how and why to do this.

The Phase 2 sample is selected after the team has completed most of the Phase 1 investigations and reviews. At this point the nursing home survey team has collected enough information to determine what areas they need to focus on during the rest of the survey.

Task 5: Information Gathering. This is often considered the “meat” of the survey. The instructions given to the nursing home surveyors on conducting information gathering provides an organized, systematic, and consistent method of gathering information necessary to make decisions concerning whether the facility has met their requirements. Task 5 is divided up into 7 “subtasks”. These subtasks are:

  • 5A General Observations of the Facility
  • 5B Kitchen/Food Service Observations
  • 5C Resident Review: An overall assessment of the sampled residents
  • 5D Quality of Life Assessment: Assessment of the residents’ quality of life
  • 5E Medication Pass and Pharmacy Services: An assessment of the pharmaceutical services provided in the facility
  • 5F Quality Assessment and Assurance Review: An assessment of the facility’s Quality Assessment and Assurance program
  • 5G Abuse Prohibition Review: A review of the facility’s policies and procedures related to protecting residents from abuse, neglect, involuntary seclusion, and misappropriation of their property.

Task 6: Information Analysis for Deficiency Determination. This is the step in which the nursing home surveyors gather all the information they have obtained and they then meet together and review their findings. The nursing home survey team determines if the nursing facility has met or has not met all the regulatory requirements

Task 7 – Exit Conference. This tsk is to inform the facility of the survey team’s observations and preliminary findings.

Just becasue these tasks are  numbered doesn’t mean they all ocurr in an order. The ones at the beginning and end do, but the ones in the middle are all conducted pretty much simultaneously and continuously during the survey.

We will continue this in the next post.

Keep safe and informed!

JL

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I am in the midst of explaining some concepts to you about how a nursing home surveyor prepares to conduct a nursing home survey. This is Part 3. I talked a little about the two forms of Survey, the QIS survey and the Standard survey. I want to explain, now, the Tasks for the QIS nursing home survey that the nursing home surveyors must do.

The QIS Tasks are:

  • Task 1: Offsite Survey Preparation. This includes an initial resident sample selection. During this task the nursing home surveyors also review files, previous complaints and surveys, and other information in order to be familiar with the issues the nursing home survey team might encounter while at the nursing home.
  • Task 2: Onsite Preparatory Activities and Entrance Conference. This is where the nursing home survey team lets the facility know what to expect during the survey. The team gathers additional paperwork and nursing facility information and continues to develop the plan for the survey.
  • Task 3: The Initial Tour. Upon entering a nursing facility the nursing home surveyors do a tour of the facility prior to commencing with the investigative portion of the survey. This is different than a Hospital survey in that hospital surveys do not have an initial tour.
  • Task 4: Stage I Survey Tasks. These include finalizing the sample selection, conducting nursing home survey team meetings, gathering information, reviewing records, and interviewing staff, residents, and families.
  • Task 5: Non-Staged Survey Tasks. This includes more interviews, reviews of policies and procedures, Abuse Prohibition review, Quality Assessment and Assurance review, observation of the food services, and reviews of billing.
  • Task 6: Transition From Stage I to Stage II. During this stage of the QIS process the nursing home survey team updates the resident sample, reviews what was found in Stage I, puts data into the laptop and reviews the analysis of the findings (the QCI’s mentioned previously)
  • Task 7: Stage II Survey Tasks. This is again composed of more sampled resident reviews, team meetings, more investigation, observation of the Medication administration, Environmental observations, reviews of resident funds, reviews of admission, transfer and discharge issues, and facility staffing.
  • Task 8: Analysis and Decision-Making. This is where all the information is integrated and analyzed in order to determine what areas are non compliant.
  • Task 9: Exit Conference. This is where the nursing home surveyor and the team provide information about their preliminary findings to the nursing home.

In the next post we will continue with the process a Nursing Home and Hospital Surveyor follows when conducting a nursing home survey.

Keep informed and keep safe!

JL

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Previously I started sharing a bit of information with you about the nursing home survey and how a nursing home surveyor prepares to conduct a survey. I want to continue to give you a short overview of the preparation of the nursing home survey process.

The standard survey in a nursing facility is composed of Tasks, just like the Hospital Survey has tasks. The QIS Standard Survey has 9 Tasks and the Traditional Standard Survey has 7 Tasks. Both versions of the survey process are resident-centered, outcome-oriented inspections that rely on variety in the sample of residents in order to determine if the facility is in compliance with skilled nursing facility participation requirements. Outcomes include both actual and potential negative outcomes, as well as failure of a facility to help residents achieve their highest practicable level of well-being.

 

  • A standard survey determines a variety of things, including:
  • The nursing home’s compliance with residents’? rights and quality of life requirements;
  • The accuracy of residents’ comprehensive assessments and the adequacy of the care plans the nursing facility did;
  • The quality of care and services furnished by the nursing facility; and
  • The effectiveness of the nursing facility?s physical environment to empower residents to be as independent as possible, to accommodate resident needs, and to maintain resident safety.

 

If the nursing home surveyors determine that the facility is providing a substandard quality of care in any one or more specific categories, the survey can be extended. Those areas that can be determined to have substandard quality of care are:

  • Resident Behavior and Facility Practices (42 CFR 483.13);
  • Quality of Life (42 CFR 483.15); and/or
  • Quality of Care (42 CFR 483.25)

Extending the survey means the nursing home survey team will spend more time at the facility and expand the areas of focus and the number of residents they will look at.

There are some other survey types in addition to the Standard and the Extended survey. These types are: Abbreviated Standard Survey (which focuses on particular tasks and areas), Partial Extended Survey, (which is conducted if substandard quality of care is found during an abbreviated survey), and a Post-Survey Revisit or Follow-Up survey, which is conducted to see if the facility corrected the violations found on the previous survey.

As you can see, there is much to a nursing home survey process. In the next post, we will continue the discussion on the nursing home and hospital surveyors process during a survey.

Keep safe and informed!

JL

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As with hospitals, skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and nursing facilities (NFs) are required to be in compliance with their requirements, which are located at 42 CFR Part 483, Subpart B, in order to receive payment under the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Unlike hospitals, SNFs and NFs have two types of standard surveys. The traditional survey and the quality indicator survey (QIS) are the two types. The QIS survey is the “new kid” on the block and CMS developed it to try and improve the quality and consistency of nursing home surveys. Both types are currently accepted by CMS to evaluate compliance of nursing homes with their requirements.

Currently, most states are using the traditional survey. QIS training is intensive, long, and only CMS-approved training agencies and training materials may be used by the States to train their surveyors in the new process. It is also a much more expensive survey to conduct because of the cost of the training and the computers needed. This is one reason why it has not been pushed as extensively as CMS would like.

The QIS is intended to be implemented as a replacement for the current (Traditional) survey process. The QIS has two-stages and the process has a computer component to it. Stage 1 consists of computer analysis of offsite data as well as computer analysis of the data collected by surveyors from observations, interviews, and record reviews of large computer-selected resident samples. Stage 2 of the QIS consists of systematic surveyor investigations of specific issues and residents using the Guidance to Surveyors as well as a set of detailed investigative tools, called critical elements protocols. In addition to the two Stages there are also several facility-level tasks that are completed either on every survey or when the task is considered an area of concern.

The Stage 1 information is analyzed by the surveyors computer and a set of approximately 160 Quality of Care Indicators (QCIs) are the result of the analysis. These QCIs are used to compare the nursing facility being surveyed to national norms. Any QCIs that score beyond a particular statistical threshold are then computer-selected for a Stage 2 review. The computer also selects a sample of relevant residents.

As with Hospital surveys, the nursing home surveyor and the team will arrive at the facility unannounced. As with the Hospital surveys, the nursing facility surveys may be conducted at any time including weekends, 24 hours a day.

We will continue this in the next post.

Be Safe! Be Knowledgable!

JL

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