F.A.Q.

Who is funding the project? The Minnesota Department of Human Services is funding this project.
What are the Minnesota Long-Term Care Facility Resident & Family Quality of Life surveys? The Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Department of Health require performance measurement and public reporting for all Minnesota-certified nursing facilities. A standardized survey and interview procedure will be administered to measure resident satisfaction and quality of life at each facility.
 
Current long-stay residents will participate in face-to-face interviews conducted by trained and supervised interviewers. The primary representative for each current resident will receive the corresponding family quality of life survey in the mail.
What is the purpose of the Long-Term Care Facility Quality of Life Survey? The purpose of the survey is:
  1. To increase long-term care facility awareness of resident and family perspectives of their services;
  2. To aid long-term care facilities in making quality improvement plans; and,
  3. To provide an online public report that will help people who are looking for a long-term care facility make informed decisions about long-term care for themselves or their loved one(s).
    • The report card is available to the public at: http://nhreportcard.dhs.mn.gov/.
    • The report card will include results from both the resident and family surveys.
What changes were made to the resident survey this year? The DHS worked with providers, quality of life experts, and long-stay care survey researchers to update the resident survey for 2017. Questions were added or rephrased to express their concepts better. The goal is to make the survey more relevant, meaningful and able to capture real differences in quality across providers.
Which residents will be interviewed? With proportional random sampling, the number of interviews to complete varies based on the number of long-stay residents at each facility. (Click here to view our sampling table and calculate your facility's number.) Facilities submit a resident census list to Vital Research two weeks before their scheduled interview date. Vital Research will determine the number of interviews needed at each facility based on the number of long-stay residents on this list. Vital Research randomly selects the list of long-stay residents to be interviewed.
 
On the first day of scheduled interviews, each facility will also provide a list of all residents in isolation and/or whose legal guardian has declined participation on his/her behalf. Interviewers remove these residents from their lists of eligible residents to interview.
Who receives a family survey? Facilities are responsible for identifying one primary representative for each current long-stay resident at their facility. Contact information for each representative will be in the resident/family (or another primary representative) census list submitted to Vital Research. Every resident representative will receive a mailed survey but can complete the survey on paper or online. Vital Research will also conduct phone interviews with representatives who did not complete paper surveys but would still like to participate.
How are interviewers trained? Interviewers complete a comprehensive training that includes classroom instruction and practical experience conducting supervised interviews of residents. Interviewers learn how to administer a structured interview the same way to each resident. They are taught to approach each resident with a positive attitude, believing that he/she will be able to provide opinions about his/her experience at the facility. If a resident offers no response, or gives answers that are not responsive to the stated question to four questions in a row, the interview is discontinued and the resident is thanked for his/her time. If a resident becomes tired during an interview, the interviewer may return later in the day to complete the interview.
 
Interviewer training stresses that interviewers are to remain neutral at all times, and are not there to observe/evaluate the facility themselves. Interviewers have a unique role, serving as the voice to hear and record the opinions of the residents who reside in the facilities. Experienced Quality Assurance Mentors will visit different interviewers each day in facilities across the state, conducting quality assurance activities and providing reinforcement and corrective feedback to each respective interviewer.
Can we get a copy of the results? Upon completion of the survey project, the Minnesota Department of Human Services will provide facilities with individual results in comparison with the statewide data. The results of the resident and family surveys will be converted to a five-star rating. The rating, among other quality measures, will be available to the public online on the Nursing Home Report Card at http://www.health.state.mn.us/nhreportcard/. We expect results to be available in the Spring of 2018.
Are resident interviews confidential? Yes. All surveys are recorded on a handheld mobile device and submitted directly to an independent research organization, Vital Research. The survey uses identification numbers assigned by Vital Research to keep answers confidential. Vital Research does not disclose the names of residents who participated in an interview. Individual resident surveys will be destroyed at the end of the survey project. All results are reported at an aggregate level which ensures protection of individual respondents.
How long does the interview take? The interview is brief and takes approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.
Why are residents with dementia being interviewed? Learn more about interviewing residents with dementia and/or cognitive impairment »
What about the accuracy of the opinions of residents with dementia? Learn more about interviewing residents with dementia and/or cognitive impairment »
Why not let staff or families guide the interviewer to residents who can be interviewed? Allowing an independent third party (Vital Research) to randomly sample residents reduces the potential for bias.
Why not let the staff and families answer for residents? Many studies have shown that staff and families provide different answers from one another and different answers from residents. Each group’s opinions are important, but they cannot substitute for one another.