who holds the map to oasis data collection at your home health agency? clinicians need guidance and oasis education in order to succeed

Who Has The Map?

I have lost count of how many hours I have spent completing, reviewing, and teaching OASIS data collection. Working with agencies, I hear over and over the frustration with clinicians not getting it “right”. They spend time and dime trying to deal with it. After more than two decades of data collection under our belt as an industry, how can it still be this hard??

While preparing for a recent webinar I was wondering if agencies really have prepared clinicians to collect accurate data. Does that front-line person feel empowered to complete this task or reliant on a review process to catch and correct mistakes?

Having a Map in Home Health

Then it hit me – does the clinician actually have the map? Imagine that you have taken your clinicians out for a team-building event in a local wooded area. There are multiple trails available to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. As the leader, you announce that everyone needs to meet up in a designated spot in the middle where you will be waiting for them. You arrive at that location and wait. The thing is, you didn’t give any of them an actual map to navigate the area.

Eventually, they start to arrive, some alone and some in small groups. Some are clearly upset about how long it took as they didn’t know where to go. Others have sticks in their hair and scratches indicating that their route veered off the actual trails at least once. Some argue that they have been to other parks that were easier than this while still others feel this whole activity was pointless.

Once they all arrive, the leader shows them the map. Then they explain all the times they went the wrong or harder way and how much easier it would have been to follow this one trail that was the most direct (correct) route. As you can imagine, this does not go over well.

OASIS Guidance

I see agencies time and time again do this with clinicians and OASIS. THEY are the ones that need to know and use the map (official OASIS guidance). This is the BEST way to navigate data collection. When QA / leadership staff are the experts holding the map to address issues AFTER an OASIS is completed interferes with the clinician becoming confident, skilled, and engaged in getting it right the first time.

OASIS education must start with teaching all data collectors how to read and use the map. That doesn’t mean they will ever “like” the map but will understand that it will make life in home health significantly easier.

Do you want to be more educated in OASIS data collection? Contact us today to see how we can help.