The PASRR Technical Assistance Center helps states fulfill the goals of Preadmission Screening and Resident Review

The Minimum Data Set (MDS): A Primer for Data Users

PTAC consultant Dustin Dodson has written a timely, accessible review of the issues that must be kept in mind when using MDS for data-analytic purposes. In this paper, Dodson:

  • gives an introduction to MDS
  • explains its role in assesssment cycles
  • describes its strengths and weaknesses for evaluating quality, and
  • clearly describes the complications and potential pitfalls of using MDS to calculate important metrics, such as length of stay in a nursing home.

This short primer will be an excellent resource for anyone who has worked with MDS, or thinks they might like to do so in the future. It will also be useful to a broader audience of interested readers who would like to be able to understand interpret MDS findings they read about.

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