10 Ways to Reform Nursing Homes

Two years ago, not many people believed that there was a need to reform nursing homes or make any significant changes. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the deficiencies and shortcomings of many of our most cherished and valuable healthcare institutions. Also, nursing homes have also faced criticism from the public.

Ways To Reform Nursing Homes

It’s hardly a secret that caregivers and nursing care facilities have experienced considerable difficulties over the past two years. The pandemic has changed everything, and nursing homes have struggled the most with the change. Additionally, workers have had to endure long hours, increased workloads, and intense pressure. Additionally, there is not enough nursing home liability to spread. 

Here are some ways to improve the quality of long-term care provided by nursing homes and reform the industry according to specific goals:

  1. Increase the Ratio of Registered Nurses

Nursing care facilities with more registered nurses (RNs) tend to be more effective at managing COVID cases and reducing mortality. There have been many studies, but one from the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) produced exciting results. Thus, the URMC study revealed that COVID cases dropped by 22% with every 20 minutes of additional RN coverage. 

  1. Form Partnerships with Hospitals

Johns Hopkins University’s Morgan Katz, M.D. announced partnerships between Maryland hospitals and nursing homes in the community. Also, the infectious diseases expert reported that medical professionals provided care facilities with instruction and testing services, focusing mainly on infection control and PPE use. Consequently, many nursing homes registered lower rates of infection. 

  1. Improve Infection Control Methods and Protocols

Older residents with weaker immune systems typically populate nursing homes due to age and illness. Then, constant close exposure to other residents and staff members often increases the risk of COVID infection. These incidents highlight improving infection control methods and policies in nursing homes. 

  1. Address Isolation Issues

Infection isn’t the only downside to the pandemic. Social isolation is also a significant concern, primarily as it affects long-term care residents’ mental and physical health. The Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) conducted a study. Their findings revealed that extended virtual visits could limit the severity. 

  1. Increase Funding

Funding remains a formidable obstacle to delivering high-quality long-term care. At present, efforts are underway by several nursing care organizations to lobby for the adjustment of Medicaid reimbursement rates to finance the prohibitive costs of nursing home care.

  1. Modify Current Staffing Practices

Nursing aides may care for 20 or more residents per shift in some facilities. Despite the physical and emotional demands of the job and its crucial role in saving lives, care professionals earn only $13 an hour on average. 

  1. Enhance Oversight and Reporting Policies and Processes

COVID-19 has emphasized the urgency of revamping nursing homes that fail to act in their resident’s interests. Likewise, improving oversight and reporting processes has been proposed as a solution for dealing with care facilities that consistently neglect meeting care and safety standards expected in the industry.

  1. Work Toward More Equitable Ownership

Calls are increasing for a shift toward more equitable ownership practices for nursing homes, 70% of which operate for profit. Professor Charlene Harrington, head of nursing home research at the University of California, emphasizes regulating long-term care facilities like utility services for increased financial transparency and accountability.

  1. Extending Home Care Services

Expanding home care services can help ease the burden on care facilities long been overregulated and underfunded. Milken Institute Center’s senior director Nora Super feels that part of the solution is freeing up Medicaid funds for nursing homes and home care.

  1. Develop Smaller Nursing Care Facilities

Care facilities that are more like family residences could be a feasible alternative to the clinical, hospital-like environments of most nursing homes. And, smaller facilities also make it easier to control and prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

By considering these suggestions, caregivers and long-term care facilities will hopefully become even more valued members of society. 

About Midwest Insurance Group

Midwest Insurance Group is a risk retention group developed by Caitlin Morgan Insurance Services in response to the unique needs of the healthcare industry, particularly that of senior living facilities. With rising premium costs and difficulties in obtaining coverage from the traditional professional and general liability insurance market, Midwest Insurance Group represents a viable, long-term insurance alternative for the senior living sector, giving members complete control over costs and claims management. Midwest Insurance Group is reinsured with Lloyd’s of London, and A rated by Demotech.

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