Where do we find guidelines on how to establish a baseline temp?
Fever is defined as a temperature 2.4 degrees F higher than baseline. The resident’s baseline temperature should be established prior to the Assessment Reference Date. A temperature of 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) on admission (i.e., prior to the establishment of the baseline temperature) would be considered a fever. You should follow your facility policy when determining the baseline temperature. A general guideline for new residents is measuring the residents temperature the first 3 days after admission, up to 21 shifts. Add together and divide by the total number of shifts to establish the baseline.
Source: RAI Manual, Chapter 3, page J-26. https://downloads.cms.gov/files/mds-3.0-rai-manual-v1.17.1_october_2019.pdf
Blog by Jessica Cairns, RN, RAC-CT, CMAC, Proactive Medical Review
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