Vaccine or IC Practices?

Angie Szumlinski Studies

Historically, public health messaging for pneumococcal disease prevention has centered around vaccination. While this remains paramount, a recent study conducted in China and other countries in East Asia highlights the key role of behavior and public health measures in reducing the transmission of S. pneumoniae. Older adults and high-risk individuals should consider adopting more meticulous infection control practices such as …

COVID Isolation Units and “Flu”

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

In a recent article published in Skilled Nursing News, they discussed how the COVID-19 isolation units were used to combat the virus in skilled nursing facilities and how they may now be helpful in preventing the spread of influenza. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took steps in March to make it easier to transfer residents within facilities …

POC Testing – Accuracy Questioned?

Angie Szumlinski Studies

As you have likely heard, an event at the White House Rose Garden is suspected of infecting multiple people with COVID-19. Many experts agree that it was likely the cause of the spread and are referring to it as a “super spreader. Putting politics aside, let’s take a look at some of the facts. The White House has reportedly relied …

Infrared Thermometers – Accurate?

Angie Szumlinski Case Study, Studies

Body temperature is a vital sign that is regularly measured to assess the status of a patients’ health, facilitate diagnosis, and screen for the COVID-19 virus. Healthcare professionals must use the most accurate and precise measurement devices available to reproduce stable results reflecting core body temperature. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that public health measures include body temperature screening …

Frailty – Delirium – COVID-19

Angie Szumlinski Studies

COVID-19 disproportionately affects older adults, partly due to increased prevalence of frailty. Frail adults in residential settings may be at particular risk of transmission of respiratory illness. Understanding the differences in COVID-19 presentation resulting from frailty is imperative to prompt rapid diagnosis, isolation and contact-tracing and to guide assessment and treatment. Early identification of frailty facilitates a differential, targeted clinical …

The Eyes Have it!

Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

Researchers continue to investigate other transmission routes for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the eyes. Although it is much less common than the nose or mouth, eyes may be exposed to the transmission of the virus by touching the contaminated hand or by rubbing the eyes. According to a review of 172 studies analyzing data collected from 16 countries, if healthcare …

Discharges to Post-Acute Care Decline Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Angie Szumlinski Studies

Recent Avalere analysis shows that as inpatient hospital volume fell in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, discharges to SNF and home health experienced a similar decline. “In the early months of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., we saw a substantial decrease in hospital discharges to both skilled nursing facilities and home health agencies” said Heather Flynn, Consultant at Avalere. …

Guiding Principles and Planning Assumptions – Visitor Policies and Access

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Studies

In a recent publication in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, there was a discussion regarding finding the right balance on opening visitation in nursing homes and distinguishing between family caregivers and social visitors. The information is interesting and summarized below for your reading pleasure. The link for the complete article is also included if you would like …

Coronavirus

Asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections In Long-Term Care

Angie Szumlinski Studies

The ability of SARS-CoV-2 to spread rapidly among residents and staff in congregate settings poses a major infection control challenge. In a study conducted in 9 long-term care facilities in Pasadena, California in April 2020, the findings demonstrated a high proportion of asymptomatic infection, even within moderately affected facilities, and support the use of mass testing-based strategies in concert with …

COVID-19 Outbreaks in Nursing Homes

Angie Szumlinski Studies

Contrary to early predictions, a recent study confirmed that CMS Star Rating is not an accurate predictor of whether a center will experience a COVID-19 outbreak. The recent study conducted at Harvard University identified that even though there was no evidence that star rating had a significant effect on facility outbreaks, a concerning finding was that facilities that employ staff …