OASIS and staff education: Oil and water?

"But it’s 79 items long!" Even if your staff doesn’t say it out loud, that’s what they’ll think when you incorporate the OASIS-B survey tool into your assessment forms. For some agencies in the OASIS demonstration project, using the OASIS survey tool added as much as 40 minutes to patient admission, thus decreasing productivity.

However, staff education is an effective salve for injured productivity associated with OASIS use, and the the Denver-based Center for Health Services and Policy Research plans to help. It offers OASIS Basics ($68), an educational package including a "how-to" manual and a computer disk that "has tips for training agency staff about OASIS and for maintaining data quality," says Betty Dixon, RN, BSN, a home health care consultant based in Savannah, GA. It also includes the OASIS-B survey tool and a sample clinical record (hard copy and disk version).

Dixon cautions that the OASIS survey tool is only for adult patients. "You will have to supplement it for pediatric and other specialty patients," she says. Also, when educating staff and incorporating the tool into your existing assessment forms, be sure not to change the wording of any of the OASIS items, she warns. The wording must be the same to collect standardized information, so apples-to-apples comparisons can be made.

The disk is available in WordPerfect 5.1 and Microsoft Word 6.0. Call (303) 756-8350 or fax (303) 759-8196.

(Editor’s note: You can download the OASIS-B tool directly from our World Wide Web page. Go to: http://www.ahcpub.com/oasispic.html)