Career Story by Nan Tracy Zheng, PhD, Senior Manager and Research Analyst at RTI International
In my third year of graduate study, I decided to focus my research on nursing home care. Most researchers who do quantitative research of nursing home care in the US use Minimum Data Set (MDS) - a standard data collection instrument with more than 500 items that all nursing homes serving Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are required to use for collecting and submitting residents’ health and treatment information. Although it’s called the Minimum Data Set, it is nowhere near small. As I joined my advisor, Dr. Helena Temkin-Greener, on a project focused on the quality of care for nursing homes and started thinking about my dissertation in the same area, she advised me that “from now on, you are going to eat, drink, and breath your data”.