Directors of Nursing – Here are 10 things to keep in mind when preparing for survey

When the Department of Health walks into your facility, it can be an unnerving time for both seasoned managers as well as line staff. Whether you are preparing for a traditional survey or a Quality Indicator Survey, here are some helpful reminders to get you ready for that next unexpected visit. Directors of Nursing, what other tips do you have to get ready for survey?



  1. You need to manage the survey process for your department – do not let it manage you!
  2. Your best asset is a well-educated staff.
  3. Preventative systems help you achieve quality.
  4. Foster an environment of teamwork and openness where mistakes can be discussed as a group so everyone learns from the experience and can address issues proactively.
  5. The accuracy of your MDS information will be reviewed – Do you have a plan to monitor accurate completion of this assessment tool?
  6. Your facility’s policies and procedures should reflect the way things are actually done in your facility.
  7. Be prepared to discuss your facility’s practices with the team leader or other surveyors.
  8. Your entire nursing staff needs to be familiar with the plan of care, including CNAs.
  9. For Quality Indicator Surveys (QIS), strong emphasis is placed on resident interviews and observations. Think about what your staff is doing to provide a quality experience for each resident.
  10. A review of the 7 Mandatory Tasks for the QIS will help you on either a traditional or QI survey, because both types require that you have sound systems in place ahead of survey. Identify and correct any gaps now.

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