All eyes and resources in the long term care profession currently are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, and rightfully so. This virus has spread through facilities like nothing seen before.
Unlike COVID-19, the flu season arrives like clockwork on a yearly basis. Unfortunately, in addition to the ongoing pandemic, flu season is looming just around the corner. Now more than ever, facilities need to be proactive in protecting their residents.
This article spotlights four areas for facilities to focus on for influenza prevention and control this fall, while also remaining in substantial compliance with the Focused Infection Control Survey from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
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.”
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A new report released today by the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) shows skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) experiencing an “alarming spike” in COVID-19 cases due to community spread among the general population. The findings are based on recent data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
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.”
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It is important for physicians, staff, and families to find creative ways for residents to stay on the move.
Read more at http://www.providermagazine.com/archives/2020_Archives/Pages/0620/Keeping-Residents-Active-Can-Forestall-Falls.aspx