Established by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) in 1995, National Assisted Living Week® provides a unique opportunity for residents, their loved ones, staff, volunteers, and the surrounding communities to recognize the role of assisted living in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. The annual observance encourages assisted living communities around the country to offer a variety of events and activities to celebrate the individuals they serve, as well as to help educate members of the public about this distinctive aspect of long term care.
Join RN HUDDLE for a new series with the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel. In this episode, we welcome back Renee Paulin, MSN, RN, CWOCN, as she joins a member of the NPIAP Board of Directors and Chair of the NPIAP Education Committee, Dr. Lee Ruotsi. Renee and Dr. Ruotsi discuss the essential responsibility all providers and clinicians have to combat pressure injuries. Keep an eye out for future episodes with others from NPIAP.
The program, which is available immediately to all Medicare- and Medicaid-certified nursing homes, is a tailored course that incorporates the most recent lessons learned by nursing homes during the ongoing pandemic. It also features best practices that frontline workers can implement to fight COVID-19 in their facilities, CMS Administrator Seema Verma explained during a press call Tuesday.
While the COVID pandemic has changed much in post-acute and long term care, efforts to provide quality care and track outcomes, trends, and opportunities for improvement have continued unabated. Facilities didn’t swap quality measures for COVID care, they just added it to what they were already doing.
Yet the pandemic has put a spotlight on how quality is defined, measured, and reimbursed, and it has exposed what works and where changes are needed.
“It is crystal clear that our nursing home residents are a vulnerable population that should not be exposed to the risk of pandemic, either because they are sent to hospitals or emergency rooms [ERs] unnecessarily or because new patients with potential infections are allowed to come into a building that is not yet exposed to the infection,” says Rajeev Kumar, MD, CMD, FACP, chief medical officer at Symbria in Chicago.
“Hopefully, surveyors and CMS [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] will work collaboratively with nursing facilities to minimize bad outcomes, rather than go on a witch hunt to find and use unfortunate outcomes to penalize nursing homes.”
A recent report in JAMDA offers new expert consensus recommendations for managing COVID-19 in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) with a focus on addressing screening of residents and staff, management of COVID-19 positive and presumed positive cases, communication during an outbreak, management of admissions and readmissions, and giving emotional support for staff.
In “Policy Recommendations Regarding Skilled Nursing Facility Management of COVID-19: Lessons from New York State,” the authors said, “Managing COVID-19 in this setting is uniquely challenging because the SNF serves both as a home and a medical facility.”
High county case rates and larger facility size are tied to COVID-19 outbreaks in skilled nursing facilities, according to a study from a leading operator.
Investigators from Genesis HealthCare, Brown University and Florida Atlantic University reviewed county, state and facility data from late April and early May. The study sample included 341 Genesis skilled nursing facilities in 25 states, along with more than 3,000 non-Genesis operators. Among Genesis facilities, 64 had implemented universal testing of all residents.
Researchers analyzed facility outbreaks, and (in the Genesis facilities only) the number of confirmed cases, fatalities and the effect of universal testing on case counts.
They found that higher facility bed count and COVID-19 prevalence in the surrounding county were the “most significant and consistent” predictors of large outbreaks and mortality rates among residents. In contrast, there was no consistent link between the likelihood of an outbreak and an operation’s Five-Star Quality Rating or infection control citations.
The results confirm the need for diagnostic testing access in high-risk areas, the investigators said. Federal resources should be allocated to locations where testing capacity remains limited, they added.
Around the country, nursing homes trying to protect their residents from the coronavirus eagerly await boxes of masks, eyewear and gowns promised by the federal government. But all too often the packages deliver disappointment — if they arrive at all.
McKnight’s Long-Term Care News asked nursing home leaders what they were doing to “help keep spirits up” during the coronavirus pandemic and, boy, did they tell us.
Nearly 500 providers, in fact, opened up to share what their favorite coping mechanisms are.
The most popular answers culled from the McKnight’s COVID-19 flash survey last weekend involved free food for staff, dress-up or theme days, flexible work hours, and increased communication with staff members.