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Survey Tip of the Week: Sufficient Staffing

During this week’s Survey Tips and Tactics (STAT) call, LeadingAge Ohio shared updates from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) including trends in complaint surveys. ODH is averaging 300 complaint calls a week. Sufficient staffing related to meeting resident preferences and declines was discussed during the STAT call. The Long-Term Care Survey Process (LTCSP) instructs surveyors to observe for offensive odors, residents still in bed mid-morning, call lights and alarms not responded to timely, resident behaviors and needs not responded to, and assistance not being provided during meals. Resident and staff interviews are also part of the LTCSP during the initial pool process. The survey process will evaluate if the facility assessment describes the type and level of staff required to meet each resident’s needs as required under §483.70(e). LeadingAge Ohio encourages facilities to review the facility assessment annually and ensure it reflects the staffing needed to meet the care needs and not a budget report that reflects a goal to increase staffing based on a different resident census or acuity level than what is currently being served.

ODH shared with LeadingAge Ohio that many of the complaint calls could be prevented and resolved at the facility level with increased communication by the facility to the resident and/or resident representative. During the STAT call, members shared best practices they have implemented to ensure concerns are first brought to the attention of the facility staff. These best practices included assigning staff to specific residents with defined touch points utilizing the survey pathway questions throughout the year. The survey pathways can be found on the CMS Nursing Home webpage, under the download section, and within the zip file called LTC Survey Pathways.

For more information about the citations occurring in Ohio, please join us on the monthly STAT: Survey Tips and Tactics call. Register now for the November 10 call at 10:00AM.

As the annual survey process continues, LeadingAge Ohio is sharing tips to assist members during the survey process. Send questions you’d like addressed in future Tips to Stephanie DeWees at

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