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DHS Planning to Conduct Quality of Life Surveys this Fall

After canceling them in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Department of Health (DHS) intends to conduct in-person resident quality of life surveys this fall in addition to mailed surveys to family members. For the first time, these surveys will include both care centers and licensed assisted living settings. As in past years, DHS has contracted with Vital Research to conduct these surveys, and they will contact administrators early this fall to set up the survey process. DHS is planning to send an informational letter to assisted living facilities about the new survey in advance of contact from Vital Research.

Because this is the first year of the assisted living quality of life survey, DHS has indicated that the Department will not publicly post the results on a report card website. Still, DHS will share them with providers for use in benchmarking and quality improvement planning. To protect resident anonymity, only assisted living settings with a capacity of eight or more clients will be included in the survey.

Vital Research staff doing interviews on-site will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and follow protocols including masking. However, we are concerned that, because of the rise in cases in Minnesota due to the Delta variant, this fall is not the right time to conduct the in-person quality of life surveys. We plan to request that DHS delay the surveys and monitor the COVID-19 case counts before deciding when to proceed, and we are hopeful that they will agree to that request.

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