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1.
PLoS One ; 17(1): e0261365, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1643242

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Cleanliness of hospital surfaces helps prevent healthcare-associated infections, but comparative evaluations of various cleaning strategies during COVID-19 pandemic surges and worker shortages are scarce. PURPOSE AND METHODS: To evaluate the effectiveness of daily, enhanced terminal, and contingency-based cleaning strategies in an acute care hospital (ACH) and a long-term care facility (LTCF), using SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR and adenosine triphosphate (ATP) assays. Daily cleaning involved light dusting and removal of visible debris while a patient is in the room. Enhanced terminal cleaning involved wet moping and surface wiping with disinfectants after a patient is permanently moved out of a room followed by ultraviolet light (UV-C), electrostatic spraying, or room fogging. Contingency-based strategies, performed only at the LTCF, involved cleaning by a commercial environmental remediation company with proprietary chemicals and room fogging. Ambient surface contamination was also assessed randomly, without regard to cleaning times. Near-patient or high-touch stationary and non-stationary environmental surfaces were sampled with pre-moistened swabs in viral transport media. RESULTS: At the ACH, SARS-CoV-2 RNA was detected on 66% of surfaces before cleaning and on 23% of those surfaces immediately after terminal cleaning, for a 65% post-cleaning reduction (p = 0.001). UV-C enhancement resulted in an 83% reduction (p = 0.023), while enhancement with electrostatic bleach application resulted in a 50% reduction (p = 0.010). ATP levels on RNA positive surfaces were not significantly different from those of RNA negative surfaces. LTCF contamination rates differed between the dementia, rehabilitation, and residential units (p = 0.005). 67% of surfaces had RNA after room fogging without terminal-style wiping. Fogging with wiping led to a -11% change in the proportion of positive surfaces. At the LTCF, mean ATP levels were lower after terminal cleaning (p = 0.016). CONCLUSION: Ambient surface contamination varied by type of unit and outbreak conditions, but not facility type. Removal of SARS-CoV-2 RNA varied according to cleaning strategy. IMPLICATIONS: Previous reports have shown time spent cleaning by hospital employed environmental services staff did not correlate with cleaning thoroughness. However, time spent cleaning by a commercial remediation company in this study was associated with cleaning effectiveness. These findings may be useful for optimizing allocation of cleaning resources during staffing shortages.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Disinfection/methods , Health Personnel/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Adenosine Triphosphate/analysis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/epidemiology , Disinfectants , Fomites/virology , Health Facilities , Humans , New York/epidemiology , Patients' Rooms , RNA, Viral/analysis , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SARS-CoV-2/radiation effects , Ultraviolet Rays
2.
Am J Public Health ; 111(12): 2141-2148, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559282

ABSTRACT

While underscoring the need for timely, nationally representative data in ambulatory, hospital, and long-term-care settings, the COVID-19 pandemic posed many challenges to traditional methods and mechanisms of data collection. To continue generating data from health care and long-term-care providers and establishments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Center for Health Statistics had to modify survey operations for several of its provider-based National Health Care Surveys, including quickly adding survey questions that captured the experiences of providing care during the pandemic. With the aim of providing information that may be useful to other health care data collection systems, this article presents some key challenges that affected data collection activities for these national provider surveys, as well as the measures taken to minimize the disruption in data collection and to optimize the likelihood of disseminating quality data in a timely manner. (Am J Public Health. 2021;111(12):2141-2148. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2021.306514).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Care Surveys/methods , Ambulatory Care/organization & administration , Data Collection/methods , Data Collection/standards , Electronic Health Records/organization & administration , Health Care Surveys/standards , Hospitalization , Humans , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Time Factors , United States/epidemiology
6.
Healthc Q ; 24(1): 22-27, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1190656

ABSTRACT

The first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had a catastrophic impact on Canada's long-term care system. This report compares the experiences of the five Canadian provinces that were most affected by COVID-19. This includes a comparison of the five mandates that provincial governments implemented in order to protect long-term care residents. Findings from this report indicate that the Canadian provinces whose long-term care systems were most devastated by COVID-19 failed their residents by responding too slowly compared with provinces with similar long-term care systems. This lesson should guide policy reform to safeguard residents during the second wave and beyond.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Mandatory Programs/organization & administration , Organizational Policy , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , Communicable Disease Control/methods , Communicable Disease Control/organization & administration , Humans
8.
Nurs Adm Q ; 45(2): 109-113, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1165556

ABSTRACT

Postacute care is a term used to describe a group of health care providers, caring for patients outside of traditional acute care. The populations served and measures of outcomes are similar, but the services provided may vary by type of setting and individual provider. Managing through the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been both a challenge and an opportunity to demonstrate the vital role of postacute providers in the health care continuum. National media outlets have highlighted emergency departments, critical care areas, and start-up COVID units in acute care hospitals treating critically ill patients battling COVID-19. Stories of nursing homes in crisis over the rapid spread of COVID-19 have saddened readers of newspapers and social media alike. Postacute providers have experienced the pandemic alongside the acute care hospitals in ways that have highlighted the flexibility of postacute care, challenged leaders to lead with intensity, and demonstrated their importance in the continuum of care. Through a series of interviews with postacute care leaders, this article explores the response to the pandemic from the perspective of providers in postacute care settings.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/rehabilitation , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Skilled Nursing Facilities/organization & administration , Subacute Care/organization & administration , COVID-19/nursing , Female , Humans , Leadership , Male , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States
10.
Milbank Q ; 99(2): 565-594, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1085306

ABSTRACT

Policy Points To address systemic problems amplified by COVID-19, we need to restructure US long-term services and supports (LTSS) as they relate to both the health care systems and public health systems. We present both near-term and long-term policy solutions. Seven near-term policy recommendations include requiring the uniform public reporting of COVID-19 cases in all LTSS settings; identifying and supporting unpaid caregivers; bolstering protections for the direct care workforce; increasing coordination between public health departments and LTSS agencies and providers; enhancing collaboration and communication across health, LTSS, and public health systems; further reducing barriers to telehealth in LTSS; and providing incentives to care for vulnerable populations. Long-term reform should focus on comprehensive workforce development, comprehensive LTSS financing reform, and the creation of an age-friendly public health system. CONTEXT: The heavy toll of COVID-19 brings the failings of the long-term services and supports (LTSS) system in the United States into sharp focus. Although these are not new problems, the pandemic has exacerbated and amplified their impact to a point that they are impossible to ignore. The primary blame for the high rates of COVID-19 infections and deaths has been assigned to formal LTSS care settings, specifically nursing homes. Yet other systemic problems have been unearthed during this pandemic: the failure to coordinate the US public health system at the federal level and the effects of long-term disinvestment and neglect of state- and local-level public health programs. Together these failures have contributed to an inability to coordinate with the LTSS system and to act early to protect residents and staff in the LTSS care settings that are hotspots for infection, spread, and serious negative health outcomes. METHODS: We analyze several impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the US LTSS system and policy arrangements. The economic toll on state budgets has been multifaceted, and the pandemic has had a direct impact on Medicaid, the primary funder of LTSS, which in turn has further exacerbated the states' fiscal problems. Both the inequalities across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status as well as the increased burden on unpaid caregivers are clear. So too is the need to better integrate LTSS with the health, social care, and public health systems. FINDINGS: We propose seven near-term actions that US policymakers could take: implementing a uniform public reporting of COVID-19 cases in LTSS settings; identifying and supporting unpaid caregivers; bolstering support for the direct care workforce; increasing coordination between public health departments and LTSS agencies and providers; enhancing collaboration and communication across health, LTSS, and public health systems; further reducing the barriers to telehealth in LTSS; and providing incentives to care for our most vulnerable populations. Our analysis also demonstrates that our nation requires comprehensive reform to build the LTSS system we need through comprehensive workforce development, universal coverage through comprehensive financing reform, and the creation of an age-friendly public health system. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 has exposed the many deficits of the US LTSS system and made clear the interdependence of LTSS with public health. Policymakers have an opportunity to address these failings through a substantive reform of the LTSS system and increased collaboration with public health agencies and leaders. The opportunity for reform is now.


Subject(s)
Delivery of Health Care/organization & administration , Health Care Reform/trends , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , COVID-19/epidemiology , Health Care Reform/legislation & jurisprudence , Health Policy/trends , Humans , Long-Term Care/economics , Pandemics , Public Health/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
11.
S Afr Fam Pract (2004) ; 63(1): e1-e5, 2021 02 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1079745

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound impact on elderly patients, and thus, adequate treatment plans are essential. This qualitative report provides recommendations for the supportive care and treatment of residents in long-term care facilities (LTCF) with COVID-19. A treatment protocol was developed in response to an outbreak of COVID-19 in an LTCF based in Johannesburg and was implemented over a 3-month period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/therapy , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Patient Care Management/methods , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Frail Elderly , Health Plan Implementation , Humans , Infection Control/methods , Long-Term Care/methods , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , South Africa
12.
Res Aging ; 43(3-4): 123-126, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061209

ABSTRACT

This special issue covers several important topics related to long-term care (LTC) systems and policy development in China. It provides a good contextual background on the development of the LTC system in China as well as the needs and preferences of LTC from family and older adults' perspectives. In addition, this issue covers the topic of evaluation of a recently developed long-term care nursing insurance and provides an example of family caregiving for persons with dementia within the Chinese context. The authors in this special issue also provided insights into the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older adults' life and LTC quality, and explored potential strategies to handle the challenges during and post-pandemic.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Policy , Health Services for the Aged/organization & administration , Health Services for the Aged/standards , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Long-Term Care/standards , Quality Improvement , China , Humans
13.
Chest ; 159(5): 1894-1901, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051537

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented novel challenges for the entire health-care continuum, requiring transformative changes to hospital and post-acute care, including clinical, administrative, and physical modifications to current standards of operations. Innovative use and adaptation of long-term acute care hospitals (LTACHs) can safely and effectively care for patients during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A framework for the rapid changes, including increasing collaboration with external health-care organizations, creating new methods for enhanced communication, and modifying processes focused on patient safety and clinical outcomes, is described for a network of 94 LTACHs. When managed and modified correctly, LTACHs can play a vital role in managing the national health-care pandemic crisis.


Subject(s)
Critical Care/methods , Intensive Care Units , Long-Term Care , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Duration of Therapy , Humans , Intensive Care Units/organization & administration , Intensive Care Units/trends , Long-Term Care/methods , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Long-Term Care/trends , Organizational Innovation , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Healthc Q ; 23(4): 28-34, 2021 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1040175

ABSTRACT

The long-term care (LTC) sector has been the epicentre of COVID-19 in Canada. This paper describes the leadership strategies that helped manage the pandemic in one COVID-19-free LTC facility in British Columbia. Qualitative interviews with four executive leaders were collected and analyzed. The facility implemented most provincial guidelines to prevent or mitigate virus spread. Crisis leadership competencies and safety prioritization helped this site's successful management of the pandemic. There was room for improvement in communication and staffing practices and policies in the facility.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , British Columbia/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Humans , Interviews as Topic , Leadership , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Organizational Policy
16.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 22(2): 253-255.e1, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1002690

ABSTRACT

Long-term care facilities (LTCFs), retirement homes (RHs), and other congregate care settings in Canada and worldwide have experienced significant COVID-19 outbreaks. As a health system response, our acute care hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, developed and mobilized an onsite Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) SWAT team (IPAC-SWAT) to regional settings on outbreak and implemented a strategy of support through education, training, and engagement. Between April 28, 2020, and June 30, 2020, IPAC-SWAT assessed 7 LTCFs and 10 RHs for IPAC preparedness and actively managed 10 of 13 COVID-19 outbreaks (LTCF n=5; RH n=5). IPAC-SWAT strategies were multi-interventional and intended to mitigate further viral transmission or prevent outbreaks. Dedicated training of local "IPAC champions" was facilitated at 7 sites (LTCF = 5; RH = 2) using a "train-the-trainer" approach to promote local knowledge, autonomy, and site-led audits and feedback.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Homes for the Aged/organization & administration , Infection Control/organization & administration , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Organizational Innovation , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Aged , Female , Humans , Male , Ontario/epidemiology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
17.
BMC Med ; 18(1): 386, 2020 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-962808

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Long-term care facilities (LTCFs) are vulnerable to outbreaks of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Timely epidemiological surveillance is essential for outbreak response, but is complicated by a high proportion of silent (non-symptomatic) infections and limited testing resources. METHODS: We used a stochastic, individual-based model to simulate transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) along detailed inter-individual contact networks describing patient-staff interactions in a real LTCF setting. We simulated distribution of nasopharyngeal swabs and reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests using clinical and demographic indications and evaluated the efficacy and resource-efficiency of a range of surveillance strategies, including group testing (sample pooling) and testing cascades, which couple (i) testing for multiple indications (symptoms, admission) with (ii) random daily testing. RESULTS: In the baseline scenario, randomly introducing a silent SARS-CoV-2 infection into a 170-bed LTCF led to large outbreaks, with a cumulative 86 (95% uncertainty interval 6-224) infections after 3 weeks of unmitigated transmission. Efficacy of symptom-based screening was limited by lags to symptom onset and silent asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission. Across scenarios, testing upon admission detected just 34-66% of patients infected upon LTCF entry, and also missed potential introductions from staff. Random daily testing was more effective when targeting patients than staff, but was overall an inefficient use of limited resources. At high testing capacity (> 10 tests/100 beds/day), cascades were most effective, with a 19-36% probability of detecting outbreaks prior to any nosocomial transmission, and 26-46% prior to first onset of COVID-19 symptoms. Conversely, at low capacity (< 2 tests/100 beds/day), group testing strategies detected outbreaks earliest. Pooling randomly selected patients in a daily group test was most likely to detect outbreaks prior to first symptom onset (16-27%), while pooling patients and staff expressing any COVID-like symptoms was the most efficient means to improve surveillance given resource limitations, compared to the reference requiring only 6-9 additional tests and 11-28 additional swabs to detect outbreaks 1-6 days earlier, prior to an additional 11-22 infections. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 surveillance is challenged by delayed or absent clinical symptoms and imperfect diagnostic sensitivity of standard RT-PCR tests. In our analysis, group testing was the most effective and efficient COVID-19 surveillance strategy for resource-limited LTCFs. Testing cascades were even more effective given ample testing resources. Increasing testing capacity and updating surveillance protocols accordingly could facilitate earlier detection of emerging outbreaks, informing a need for urgent intervention in settings with ongoing nosocomial transmission.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/epidemiology , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Public Health Surveillance/methods , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Mass Screening/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Practice Guidelines as Topic , SARS-CoV-2
18.
BMC Geriatr ; 20(1): 421, 2020 10 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-885972

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 pandemic is a significant public health emergency that impacts all sectors of healthcare. The negative health outcomes for the COVID-19 infection have been most severe in the frail elderly dwelling in Canadian long-term care (LTC) homes. METHODS: An online cross-sectional survey of Ontario LTC Clinicians working in LTC homes in Ontario Canada was conducted to provide the clinician perspective on the preparedness and engagement of the LTC sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey questionnaire was developed in collaboration with the Ontario Long-Term Care Clinicians organization (OLTCC) and was distributed between March 30, 2020 to May 25, 2020. All registered members of the OLTCC and Nurse-led LTC Outreach Teams were invited to participate. The primary outcomes were: 1) the descriptive report of the screening measures implemented, communication and information received, and the preparation of the respondent's LTC home to a potential COVID-19 outbreak; and 2) the level of agreement, as reported using a five-point Likert scale), to COVID-19 preparedness statements for the respondent's LTC home was also assessed. RESULTS: The overall response rate was 54% (160/294). LTC homes implemented a wide range of important interventions (e.g. instituting established respiratory isolation protocols, active screening of new LTC admissions, increasing education on infection control processes, encouraging sick staff to take time off, etc). Ample communications pertinent to the pandemic were received from provincial LTC organizations, the government and public health officials. However, the feasibility of implementing public health recommendations, as well as the engagement of the LTC sector in pandemic planning were identified as areas of concern. Medical director status was associated with an increased knowledge of local implementation of interventions to mitigate COVID-19, as well as endorsing increased access to reliable COVID-19 information and resources to manage a potential COVID-19 outbreak in their LTC home. CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the communication and implementation of recommendations in the Ontario LTC sector, despite some concerns regarding feasibility. Importantly, LTC clinician respondents clearly indicated that better engagement with LTC leaders is needed to plan a coordinated pandemic response.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Health Personnel/psychology , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Care Surveys , Health Personnel/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Male , Middle Aged , Ontario/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Young Adult
19.
Geriatr Nurs ; 42(2): 544-547, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-856716

ABSTRACT

The Acute Care for Elders (ACE) is a model of care addressed to reduce the incidence of loss of self-care abilities of older adults occurring during hospitalization for acute illness. This observational study aimed to describe the effectiveness of an ACE unit at a long-term care facility to prevent functional decline (decrease in the Barthel Index score of >5 points from admission to discharge) in older adults with frailty (Clinical Frailty Scale score ≥5) and symptomatic COVID-19. Fifty-one patients (mean age: 80.2 + 9.1 years) were included. Twenty-eight (54.9%) were women, with a median Barthel index of 50 (IQR:30-60) and Charlson of 6(IQR: 5-7), and 33 (64.7%) had cognitive impairment. At discharge, 36(70.6%) patients had no functional decline, 6 (11.7%) were transferred to hospital and 4(7.8%) died. An ACE unit at a long-term care facility constitutes an alternative to hospital care to prevent hospital-associated disability for frail older patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/nursing , Frail Elderly , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/nursing , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Female , Geriatric Assessment , Humans , Male , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
20.
J Am Med Dir Assoc ; 21(10): 1378-1383.e1, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-802898

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To describe clinical characteristics and risk factors associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in long-stay nursing home residents. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective cohort study (March 16, 2020 to May 8, 2020). SETTING: Academic long-term chronic care facility (Boston, MA). PARTICIPANTS: Long-term care residents. METHODS: Patient characteristics and clinical symptoms were obtained via electronic medical records and Minimum Data Set. Staff residence was inferred by zip codes. COVID-19 infection was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction testing using nasopharyngeal swabs. Residents were followed until discharge from facility, death, or up to 21 days. Risks of COVID-19 infection were modeled by generalized estimating equation to estimate the relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of patient characteristics and staff community of residence. RESULTS: Overall 146 of 389 (37.5%) long-stay residents tested positive for COVID-19. At the time of positive test, 66 of 146 (45.5%) residents were asymptomatic. In the subsequent illness course, the most common symptom was anorexia (70.8%), followed by delirium (57.6%). During follow-up, 44 (30.1%) of residents with COVID-19 died. Mortality increased with frailty (16.7% in pre-frail, 22.2% in moderately frail, and 50.0% in frail; P < .001). The proportion of residents infected with COVID-19 varied across the long-term care units (range: 0%‒90.5%). In adjusted models, male sex (RR 1.80, 95% CI 1.07, 3.05), bowel incontinence (RR 1.97, 95% CI 1.10, 3.52), and staff residence remained significant predictors of COVID-19. For every 10% increase in the proportion of staff living in a high prevalence community, the risk of testing positive increased by 6% (95% CI 1.04, 1.08). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Among long-term care residents diagnosed with COVID-19, nearly one-half were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis. Predictors of COVID-19 infection included male sex, bowel incontinence, and staff residence in a community with a high burden of COVID-19. Universal testing of patients and staff in communities with high COVID-19 rates is essential to mitigate outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Clinical Laboratory Techniques , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Frail Elderly/statistics & numerical data , Long-Term Care/organization & administration , Nursing Homes/organization & administration , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Age Factors , Aged , COVID-19 , COVID-19 Testing , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Retrospective Studies , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
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