A national Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes has released its final report, featuring 27 recommendations for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and other regulatory entities in 10 areas, including testing and screening, equipment and PPE, workforce issues, and communication. Here are some of the key recommendations:
- Increase specificity and expand breadth of guidance on communication between nursing home staff, residents, and families.
- Mobilize resources to support a fatigued nursing home workforce and assess minimum care standards.
- Provide equity-oriented guidance that allows nursing home workforce members to safely continue to work in multiple nursing homes while adhering to infection prevention and control practices.
- Catalyze interest in the CNA profession through diverse recruitment vehicles; issue guidance for on-the-job CNA training, testing, and certification; and create a national CNA registry.
- Immediately develop and execute a national strategy for testing and delivering rapid turnaround of results (i.e., results in less than 24 hours).
- Assume responsibility for a collaborative process to ensure nursing home owners and administrators can procure and sustain a three-month supply of high-quality supplies of PPE.
- Provide specific guidance on the use, decontamination, and reuse of PPE.
The Commission was created to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to COVID-19. The 25-member group met multiple times during the summer prior to producing the final report.