Assisted living facilities and nursing homes have been hit hard by the current pandemic of Covid-19. The population living in these facilities is typically more vulnerable to all types of illnesses, but now they are at even higher risk for contracting Covid-19. Administrators have to take steps to ensure they are as safe as possible. What is the best way to prevent germ spread in assisted living facilities?
Understanding The Risk
According to the CDC, residents in long term care facilities are more susceptible to respiratory pathogens and other drug resistant pathogens. Risk tends to increase with age, and many of the residents also suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes. Plus, living together in these environments is inherently more risky due to the use of communal spaces. Therefore, a strong infection prevention and control system (IPC) must be in place. These protocols help to protect both residents and healthcare personnel from germ spread in assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and other long term care residences.
Planning and preparedness are more important now than ever before. With the Covid-19 pandemic, extra precautions must be taken in addition to the standard IPC. The CDC recommends on-site management of protocols by an IPC trained individual. This person is in charge of developing new procedures, training, and auditing. To check your preparedness, the CDC has put together a checklist. You can use this tool to easily identify areas where you may need to improve policies. Remember that you still need to adhere to local and state regulations.
Initially, it was recommended that all healthcare facilities immediately lock down, restricting visitors in order to keep patients safe. As certain states move to lift restrictions, new visitor policies will need to be developed. When it comes to re-opening for visitation, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued some guidelines.
Research shows that less than 50% of surfaces in patient rooms are properly disinfected in healthcare settings. Does that surprise you? In addition, communal spaces like dining areas, recreation rooms, and living areas in long term care facilities can be hot spots for disease transmission. Because of the close quarters, these facilities need to be especially diligent about cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting shared spaces. Re-evaluate Measures that may have been effective in the past to ensure that they are also effective at eliminating the virus that causes Covid-19.
Ultimately, electrostatic spray disinfecting has become the choice of many medical facilities, including assisted living and nursing homes. It offers the quickest and most effective disinfection as compared to other methods. Using EPA-registered disinfectants, application by electrostatic spray covers all types of hard surfaces more evenly than wiping. And, it takes less time. Virus Assassins provides top quality disinfecting services to reduce germ spread in assisted living, nursing homes, and other long term care environments. If you are looking for a service for your facility, give us a call. We would love the opportunity to serve you during this challenging time.