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PA Message Board memo – r/t saline syringes

Along with the PAHAN bulletin, as distributed earlier, PADOH has placed this specific message on the message board:

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and other state health departments, is currently investigating an outbreak of Burkholderia cepacia bloodstream infections. While the investigation is still in its early stages, contaminated prefilled saline flush syringes manufactured by Nurse Assist, Haltom City, Texas have been implicated as the source. The PADOH Bureau of Laboratories performed testing of Nurse Assist 10-milliliter saline flush syringes that were obtained from a Pennsylvania long-term care facility with reported cases; all unopened syringes tested were found to have been contaminated with B. cepacia.

PADOH recommends that any health care facilities, providers, or anyone else who have received Nurse Assist prepackaged three-, five- and 10-milliliter syringes of saline flush immediately discontinue using and sequester these saline products until further notice. At this time, DO NOT discard/destroy the products. DO NOT send flushes back to suppliers. All products should be placed together in a locked office. Guidance on the sequestered saline flush syringes will be forthcoming.

Notice: Five Star Preview Reports (posted 09/20/2016)

The Five Star Preview Reports will be available on September 20th. To access these reports, select the CASPER Reporting link located on the CMS QIES Systems for Providers page. Once in the CASPER Reporting system, select the 'Folders' button and access the Five Star Report in your 'st LTC facid' folder, where st is the 2-character postal code of the state in which your facility is located and facid is the state-assigned Facility ID of your facility.

Nursing Home Compare will update with August's Five Star data on September 28, 2016.

Important Note: The 5 Star Help line (800-839-9290) will be available September 26, 2016 through September 30, 2016. Please direct your inquiries to if the Help Line is not available.

RAVEN Software for Oct 1 2016 available

October 2016

Data Collection Software: jRAVEN v1.4.0 The Resident Assessment Validation and Entry System (jRAVEN) was developed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). jRAVEN is a free Java based software application which provides an option for facilities to collect and maintain MDS Assessment data for subsequent submission to the appropriate state and/or national data repository. jRAVEN displays the MDS Item Sets similar to the paper version of the forms. Please consult the jRAVEN Installation and User Guides for additional information.

jRAVEN v1.4.0 is now available for download under the related links section at the bottom of this webpage and includes the following enhancements to jRAVEN v1.3.0:

  • v1.14.1 of the MDS 3.0 Item Sets
  • v2.00.0 of the MDS 3.0 Data Specifications
  • v2.00.4 of the MDS 3.0 Data Specifications Errata
  • Additional Help Content
  • 'Outdated' Assessment Status
  • Informational Message Updates
  • Reporting Enhancements
  • Import functionality compliant with the MDS 3.0 Data Specifications

    For additional technical support or questions related to jRAVEN please contact the QTSO Help Desk by calling 800-339-9313 or by email to

CNS Drug Burden Video and Brochure

Video and brochure from Dr. Joseph Hanlon. Dr. Hanlon was on the team that updated the 2015 Beers Criteria. The purpose of the presentation and brochure are to instruct staff on how to reduce falls by reducing CNS drug burden. The video is about 20 minutes in length and it is just excellent.

View video: CNS Drug Burden and Serious Falls in Older Nursing Home Residents (Make take up to 2 minutes to download wmv file and requires Windows Media Player to play)

Educational brochure: How to Prevent Falls in Older Nursing Home Residents by Reducing CNS Medication Burden

CMS responses to MDS-specific questions

CMS has posted a document that provides responses to some MDS-specific questions that were received during the Skilled Nursing Facility Quality Reporting Program (SNF QRP) training events.

Topics include:

  • MDS 3.0 Assessments relevant to the SNF QRP
  • Part A PPS Discharge Combinations
  • Section GG, and
  • Pressure Ulcer quality measure (QM)

MDS 3.0 data specification updates

September 1, 2016

A new version (V2.00.1) of the MDS 3.0 Data Specifications was posted. This version is scheduled to become effective October 1, 2016. This FINAL version incorporates the changes identified in errata V2.00.4 for the previously posted DRAFT version of the specifications

RAI Spotlight Vol 11 issue 1

We are pleased to provide the latest issue of the RAI Spotlight, and hope that the information contained will be useful to you. Details are included about the teleconference on Further MDS Updates scheduled for October 13, 2016.

The latest issue of the RAI Spotlight will appear on the DOH Message Board for only 60 days.

The four most recent issues may be found in the Bulletins section of the Nursing Facility Report Portal (NFRP) ( If you are interested in an older issue, please contact the Myers and Stauffer help desk at 717-541-5809. A generic form to request a CD of any teleconference may be found in the Resources section of the NFRP.

Final MDS 3.0 item sets for 10-1-16 posted

From the MDS 3.0 Technical Information website below.

A new version (v1.14.1) of the MDS 3.0 item sets was posted. This version is scheduled to become effective October 1, 2016. The item sets should be considered final.

NOTE: The item sets are included in two (2) zip files found at the bottom of this web page download section.

Protecting Resident Privacy and Prohibiting Mental Abuse

Freedom from Abuse: Each resident has the right to be free from all types of abuse, including mental abuse. Mental abuse includes, but is not limited to, abuse that is facilitated or caused by nursing home staff taking or using photographs or recordings in any manner that would demean or humiliate a resident(s). Facility and State Agency Responsibilities: This memorandum discusses the facility and State responsibilities related to the protection of residents. Specifically, at the time of the next standard survey for both the Traditional survey and QIS, the survey team will request and review facility policies and procedures that prohibit staff from taking, keeping and/or distributing photographs and recordings that demean or humiliate a resident(s).

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