Doctors Know Nothing About Skilled Nursing, Survey Finds

In a health care environment where all eyes are on collaboration among hospitals, post-acute care and long-term care providers, a recent study shows doctors actually know little about the services skilled nursing provides.

“[Internal] medical residents have insufficient knowledge about the type of care that can be provided at a [skilled nursing facility] SNF and efforts to improve this knowledge are needed to assure proper triage of patients and safe transitions to the SNF,” the study from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) concludes.

To conduct the study, UCLA developed a 10-item multiple choice pre-test that assessed knowledge of the definition of a SNF, SNF staffing requirements, and SNF services provided on-site. The test was administered to 67 internal medicine residents on the first day of a mandatory SNF rotation that occurred during their first, second or third year of training.


The mean number of questions answered correctly was 4.9, with a standard deviation of 1.6. Regardless of their level of training, residents had a poor baseline knowledge of SNF care, the scores reveal. Performance on some questions improved with increased level of training, but others did not.

The findings are published in JAMDA-The Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, and can be accessed here.

Written by Cassandra Dowell


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