MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Minnesota Department of Health has cleared its backlog of maltreatment cases for elders, vulnerable adults and their families.

The announcement comes after the agency faced a build-up at the beginning of 2018. The MDH and the Minnesota Department of Human Services encountered 2,321 reports awaiting triage and 826 triaged cases awaiting investigation, according to a recent release.

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“Due to hard work and an aggressive quality improvement process, we are in a much better place to serve Minnesota’s elders and families,” said Jan Malcolm, Minnesota Commissioner of Health. “We continue to work hard to improve our efficiency in handling complaints and completing investigations, while at the same time working with partners on long-term reforms that can reduce the rate of maltreatment incidents in long-term care facilities around the state.”

MDH said the backlog buildup could be attributed to the nearly 400 reports coming to the Office of Health Facility Complaints each week from elder care facilities across the state.

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To combat the backlog, MDH implemented several changes, including a new electronic document management system for receiving, handling and investigating elder abuse complaints. Paper documents are no longer used in the process.

Work is ongoing to develop a long-term electronic case management system, according to MDH.

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