Using powerful data from the interRAI MDS to support care and a learning health system: A case study from long-term care
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interRAI is a non-profit international consortium of clinicians and scientists who have developed the Minimum Data Set (MDS) 2.0 assessment to systematically identify the health status and care plan of residents in Long-Term Care (LTC). However, LTC staff often fail to realize the clinical utility of this information, viewing it as "data collection for funding purposes" and an administrative task adding to the daily workload. This article reports how one research institute and senior living organization work together to use MDS 2.0 and other information to support better care for residents, plan resource allocation and staffing models, and conduct applied research for older Canadians. A multi-level approach is described on how MDS 2.0 provides a robust infrastructure at the individual, team, organizational, and system levels. Long-term care stakeholders can do much more to unleash the full potential of this powerful tool, and other healthcare sectors can take advantage of this approach.
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