Long-term care facilities went through an array of changes in the last year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, testing nearly every plan and relationship in place pre-pandemic. One year later, it seems like a good time to look back at facilities’ plans — such as relationships with local health departments — to identify weak spots in anticipation of the next emergency.
According to GeriPal, a survey of pre-pandemic preparations among long-term care facilities offer lessons managers can use to prepare more successfully for the next pandemic. Among the issues:
• Infection preventionist staffing levels were low.
• More than one-half of residential care facilities lacked a pandemic influenza plan.
• Most nursing homes had inadequate evacuation plans.
• Nursing homes developed their disaster plans “with little input from or coordination with public health or emergency management officials.”
• Disaster preparedness for long-term care facilities received little research attention in spite of the dangers faced by these vulnerable populations.See the latest posts on our homepage