Kesten Lecture spotlights research potential of widely available clinical information

Professor Vincent Mor of Brown University discusses the research potential of the Minimum Data Set clinical assessment tool.

Vincent Mor, the Florence Pirce Grant Professor of Community Health in the Brown University School of Public Health, shared how the Minimum Data Set can be a useful tool for researching health issues pertaining to older adults during the 2018 Esther and Isadore Kesten Memorial Lecture.

Mor is one of the creators of the Minimum Data Set (MDS), a standardized clinical assessment for nursing home residents mandated by Congress. He has developed measures based on MDS data to study nursing home residents’ physical health, cognition, and psycho-social functioning. The MDS is now finally being used to test nursing homes’ qualitative improvements and has yielded valuable information, Mor said during his lecture, which was titled “From Clinical Assessments to Population Data: From Vision to Reality.”

“The MDS, when merged with data from Medicare and Medicaid, has greatly improved our understanding of nursing homes,” he said.

Mor’s goal is to one day see the use of the MDS broadened to all care settings serving older adults, he added. The tool could be used to predict hospitalizations, help with care planning, and enable the real-time tracking of health interventions as they’re implemented.

The Kesten Lecture is “the premier academic event” of the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, said Dean Pinchas Cohen as he introduced Mor. The event was established in 1973 by Alan Davis, son of Sophie and Leonard Davis, in memory of his grandparents. The funds from this endowed lectureship allow the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology to annually honor an individual whose research in gerontology has contributed significantly to the understanding of the aging process.

Top: Dean Pinchas Cohen (left) presents Professor Vincent Mor with a certificate following Mor’s lecture.