Infection control is the future of skilled nursing. The COVID-19 pandemic brought alarming trends to light in the nursing home system. Nursing homes shouldered the brunt of the damage during the pandemic, facing a hugely disproportionate amount of deaths in comparison to the rest of the United States population. Nursing home residents only make up less than 1% of the population in the U.S., yet they accounted for 20% of the COVID-19-related deaths. A lack of proper infection control practices contributed to this disparity.
Even prior to the pandemic, almost 400,000 residents died due to infection annually. Nurses are essential in maintaining infection control, but following the pandemic, the majority of nurses report negative feelings about their job. Higher stress levels and increased workloads have contributed to these negative perceptions, often leading healthcare workers to skip simple sanitation practices. Distributing simple changes through new practices and guidelines with on-the-ground support can make a significant difference in infection control. Personalized approaches to each skilled nursing facility can help ameliorate infection control issues and protect your loved ones.