Month: June 2017

Help with Access?

As the first summer session winds down, the Missourian is publishing several interesting stories that reporters have worked on for a long time. Karlee wrote about a Ghanaian student hoping to mitigate infectious diseases in his country. Gabriela obviously had fun writing an informative piece about damage the solar eclipse can do to retinas. And, on a lighter note, Lucy covered the headache a local bar made for the city when it threw a ridiculous party, fake snow included.

Meanwhile, I’m still working on the nursing home violation story. It’s coming together, with everything double-, triple- and headed toward a quadruple check. But what I still can’t figure out is how to analyze the database for the most common violations in Boone County and the most recurrent violations per nursing facility. And no, Googling the question has not helped, though I would imagine that running this type of code is commonplace. Can anyone suggest what codes to run, either in Excel or Access? Doing it all by hand is not the best solution, by far.

The wild world of records requests

So, I’m still waist-deep in the nursing home story due to the sheer amount of time it takes to create this sort of database. Worth it, of course. What bothers me is that there’s a chance I’m not even accessing all of the inspection reports for the past 4 1/2 years. Take a look at this ambiguously worded note:

PLEASE NOTE: Statements of Deficiencies and Plans of Correction prompted by full inspections, second inspections and complaint-only investigations that resulted in deficiencies after January 1, 2013, are available on this website until approximately 30 days after all necessary re-visits have been completed.

(Source: health.mo.gov)

Therefore, I’ve decided to put in a records requests for all reports from the past 10 years that aren’t already posted on the department website. According to the department, this will cost $170, as an employee paid a little over $20 an hour will need eight to accomplish it.

Any thoughts on how to avoid this charge?