In an article published on February 11, 2021, in Health Affairs, the authors stated that prior to the pandemic, persistent problems with nursing home care had been documented for years, often because of too few and inadequately trained frontline staff. The harm to frail older adults can be quite severe; abuse and sexual assault, infections, overuse of psychotropic medications, pressure ulcers, falls with injuries, weight loss, dehydration, pain and medication errors. Infection control violations have also been found repeatedly in a majority of nursing homes.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a failure to protect nursing home residents and staff. As of January 17, 2021, at least 570,626 residents and 490,635 staff members were infected, and 112,383 residents and 1,385 staff had died. President Joe Biden has many options for addressing these failures, but one important proposal he has put forth is to require audits of nursing home cost reports and ownership data.”
Although we can’t be everywhere and read everything being published, it is important to know that there are articles published that don’t shed a pretty light on our business. Please be sure you are reading publications, staying current on what is being said, especially negative articles. You may get questions from your community and residents and you need to be prepared to answer them. At the end of the day, is there room for improvement? Certainly, there is always room for improvement, let’s talk about it and improve on our current processes, the key of course “let’s talk about it”, not “read about it after the fact”! Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated and stay tuned!