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O​DHS conducts unannounced surveys at least every 24 months in assisted living and residential care facilities. The survey process seeks to ensure a safe and secure environment to:

  • Enhance a resident's dignity, independence, individuality and decision-making ability; and
  • Allow residents to function at the highest level possible.

What to expect

Entrance Conference
The purpose of the entrance conference is to announce the survey, introduce the survey team and team coordinator, meet facility staff, establish a daily communication plan and explain the survey process including:

  • Inquire about any recent changes in the facility.

  • Inform/remind the administrator of who is interviewed during the survey.

  • Provide the administrator with a copy of the entrance conference checklist, review each item and indicate what is needed and when.

  • If a licensure survey is being conducted, the facility will be asked to post survey announcement signage.

  • Ask for names of any residents in acute bereavement, who are on hospice, acutely ill or who might be agitated if approached by a surveyor.

  • Arrange for a group interview with resident council members or ask for a list of cognitively intact residents with good hearing abilities.

Tour - Environment, Resident Areas and Kitchen/Food Service Areas
The purpose of this task is to determine how the physical features of the facility (such as resident rooms, dining, activity, and shower/bathing rooms) affect the resident's quality of life, health and safety.

Staff Interviews Regarding Systems
Interviews with direct caregivers for all residents on the sample are used to learn about resident care and services, to learn about the capabilities of the residents, what services are provided to the residents and their effectiveness, and finally recent changes or events, if any, in the residents' lives, cares, abilities or needs.

Medication and Treatment Administration
Medications and treatments ordered are reviewed to ensure medications are prescribed by an authorized person and were provided by the facility and documented on the medication and/or treatment administration records.

Resident Services Review
This review is completed to verify evaluations and/or assessments and service plans reflect the resident's needs and preferences, and support dignity, privacy, choice, individuality and independence.

Team Decision-Making
To review findings with survey team members and to make preliminary team decisions regarding citations.

Exit Conference
The purpose for the exit conference is to discuss findings, explain what the findings mean, and to explain the report time frames.

Related Documents

Assisted Living and Residential Care Facilities
CBC Medication Administration Observation
Change of Condition Interpretive Guidelines
Delegation Review Form
Entrance Checklist
Environment Tour
Exit Interview Checklist
Exit Signature Sheet
Family Interview Guideline
Fire and Life Safety Review
Group Interview Guideline
HCBS Review Guidelines
Inspection Survey Sign
Kitchen Inspection form
Palliative Care Toolkit
Personal Incidental Fund
Resident Interview Guideline
Resident Review Form
Staff Training Record Review - ALF/RCF
Staff Training Record Review - MCC
Survey Process Guide



Pressure Ulcer
Unplanned Weight Change


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