Since the global pandemic erupted in March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through State surveyors have only inspected about 6,800 nursing homes, or 44% of the nation’s total. This was a weak effort by CMS after the coronavirus was unleashed to insure that nursing home caregivers had the proper training and supplies for safe infection control going forward. Guess what? It didn’t work.
Three major areas of “sporadic noncompliance” still remain among nursing homes that were inspected: hand hygiene, proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and cohorting. They just happen to be the three most important infection control prevention techniques.
PPE violations were related to improper use — including incorrectly donning and doffing masks and gowns. Nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities have been the hardest-hit by the virus, with more than 150,000 cases and 30,000 deaths linked to Covid-19,
Meanwhile, the Trump Administration is developing guidelines for reopening nursing homes even proposing steps that would allow visitors to return to facilities that have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic despite lockdowns. The capability to conduct frequent, broad testing is crucial, industry officials and infection-control experts said. Experts warn that moving too fast will increase the risks for frail and elderly residents, who have been dying in the tens of thousands due to the virus.