Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Every Interaction is a Risk

AHCA/NCAL has updated our resource “When COVID-19 Gets into Your Facility” as COVID-19 is increasingly impacting nursing homes and assisted living communities. Due to the rapid progression of this virus, centers should assume it is already in their surrounding community and may be in their facility. This resource outlines four action steps.

Similarly, it’s important to remember that COVID-19 spreads principally person-to-person. Every interaction between people increases the risk of spread, particularly now that the virus is in most areas of the United States.

The goal is to minimize the number of interactions with residents. This guidance provides some ideas on how to achieve this goal. It includes:

  1. reducing the number of various (non-essential) people entering the building; 
  2. targeting the number of interactions with residents by: 
    • reducing the number of different staff entering a resident’s room
    • increasing efficiency of tasks when entering in a resident’s room to decrease the number of times staff enter
AHCA/NCAL has also updated this cohorting consideration guide, as CMS released new guidance on April 2 related to this topic. All nursing homes and assisted living communities should make plans for cohorting residents now, even before COVID-19 enters the building per CMS guidance. Cohorting is imperative to help control the spread of the virus. If possible, nursing homes and assisted living communities should also begin preparing wings, units or floors as “isolation units”. Isolation unit should be a separate, well-ventilated area, ideally with a separate entrance.

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