CSI Duluth Improved Communication Subcommittee Update - September 20, 2005


The commissioner of health has convened a group of Northeast Region nursing home survey stakeholders to identify ways to minimize tensions created by the survey process and the regulatory relationship, and to implement actions designed to:

  • establish productive and respectful relationships amongst regulated facilities, residents and their families, and the department,
  • better involve family members and staff in the survey process; and
  • clarify roles and responsibilities of MDH and provider staff in putting the group’s recommendations into action.


Our group consists of representatives from the following areas:

  • Survey Team Supervisor
  • Administrator
  • Surveyor
  • Nursing Assistant-TMA
  • Director of Nursing
  • Ombudsman
  • Family Council Representative
  • AARP


The stakeholders’ group focused on two areas, communication and education, where improvement could be made that fell within our charge. The recommendations from the communication group are:

Communication Inside the Survey Process

  • Set up guidelines and rules to maintain respectful relationships. Examples of guidelines could be:
    • Remember that the goal of providers and MDH staff is to protect, improve, and maintain the health of clients in Minnesota nursing homes.
    • All people should be treated with respect and dignity.
    • Every person should be made to feel comfortable during the survey process
    • I will not intimidate, threaten, or verbally or physically harm anyone.
    • I will remain objective and remember that things are not always as they seem at first glance.
  • Recognize that management and MDH staff can influence the perceptions of the survey process.
  • Recognize that survey outcomes, histories, and communication are three separate issues and their results may not be correlated.
  • Identify the roles of MDH and facility staff upon entry. (Infection Control, QA, Environment, person responsible to make photocopies, medical records, HRKitchen)
  • When there are additional people attending a survey (eg: supervisor, federal respresentative), their role/responsibilities will be communicated to the facility.
  • Set goal to have daily communication between MDH team leader and facility representative.
  • Initial tour to be conducted together when possible
  • Post information for families at main entry on how and where to locate MDH staff during survey process.
  • Identify positive or neutral comments that will open communication without affecting potential outcomes. E.g.: “We will continue to monitor daily”, “we are now moving to the record review phase”, or “we’ve appreciate staff cooperation”.
  • Identify who will do the communicating daily. (MDH team leader – facility representative.
  • Evaluate communication techniques or issues/concerns prior to clarify/verify.
If issues or concerns regarding a surveyor or the process occur, they should be addressed with the team leader or supervisor as close to the occurrence as possible. Specifics preferred.

Communication Outside the Survey Process

  • Continue CSI-Duluth.
  • Develop a tool for communicating regionwide.
  • Develop a way to share best practices within region.
  • Develop an optional tool where MDH staff could evaluate the facilities' attitude/willingness to communicate. (DON would ask MDH to complete if they wanted feedback regarding facility staff)




Updated Tuesday, November 16, 2010 at 12:31PM