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Team Newsletter

July 2022

Quality Corner: Quality Measure – “Ability to Move Independently Worsened”


Did you know? Gait speed, or walking speed, has been shown to be associated with survival among older adults? Multiple studies have shown there is a direct correlation between life expectancy and an individual’s ability to move and walk so keeping our residents at their current level of mobility is important!

This month we have chosen to highlight the 5-Star Quality Measure-Ability to Move Independently Worsened. This is a long-stay quality measure that evaluates how many long-term care residents in the facility have shown a decline in their mobility status over the past three months.

Here is how it is calculated: MDS coding of Locomotion on unit (how the resident moves between locations in his/her room and adjacent corridor on same floor. If in wheelchair, self-sufficiency once in chair).  If the resident has had a decline in their locomotion on unit from the last MDS, they will trigger for this quality measure.  Example: Mr. Smith was able to propel his wheelchair independently on admission, but during his quarterly assessment, staff documented he needed extensive assistance with his wheelchair mobility.

There are certain conditions that exclude residents from triggering in this area: Residents who are on hospice care and are expected to decline, residents who are comatose, and residents who were totally dependent on staff on the previous assessment will not trigger for this Quality Measure.

So how do we keep our residents moving? Encourage independent movement (when it is safe), encourage activities, walk/wheel to dine (if approved by therapy), making sure the device the resident uses fits them (wheelchair positioning is correct or walker is at the right height), getting residents into therapy when they are having trouble walking/propelling their wheelchair, and notifying nursing management ASAP when a resident has had a change in condition.


Kelly Harriman- Regional Director of Quality & Reimbursement