Before the COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes were not generally set up to isolate multiple residents in one area if they had an infectious or communicable disease.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has required long-term care facilities to learn how to evaluate and change their processes to treat residents infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, in addition to caring for residents who are not infected with the virus. This meant nursing home staff had to learn and implement infection prevention practices to reduce the risk of future outbreaks of COVID-19.
Among these facilities is Park View Care Center, a nursing home located in Fort Worth, Texas, that discovered it was not properly informed or prepared when admitting residents who were ill with COVID-19. By the end of September 2022, however, the staff at Park View Care Center had successfully implemented a program that allowed available space for all new admissions and readmissions, including those with COVID-19.
“Our solution was to become more aware of potential admissions early in the day, giving us enough time to prepare their rooms and their charts,” said administrator Randall Settle. The program the facility set in place, beginning in August 2022, made sure there was at least one bed available for any resident admission deemed COVID-19 positive. With this course of action in place, Park View Care Center no longer runs into the original issue of not having space prepared for any new or returning residents with COVID-19.
The selected quality improvement team that has helped keep this program running involves Park View Care Center’s admissions team and the entire nursing staff where the new and returning admissions take place.
“Other facilities might learn that admissions are a team effort, as there are several ‘moving’ parts to effectively admitting a new resident, either COVID-19 positive or not,” Settle said.
The team continues to look at its daily roster to identify available rooms and possible room changes to provide the best setting for all residents.
The TMF Quality Innovation Network-Quality Improvement Organization (QIN-QIO) aided Park View Care Center in overcoming its preparation issues by continually offering support and expertise.
“TMF assisted us by keeping us on track for a solution that would be permanent,” said Settle. “Their efforts and suggestions were valuable in as much as it gave us a fresh set of eyes regarding what barriers we had to face.”
Park View Care Center continues to improve the processes at its facility by viewing and implementing the changes proposed by the State of Texas regarding resident conditions prior to entering the facility.
To find out how a TMF QIN-QIO specialist can assist your nursing facility with challenges related to COVID-19 and vaccinations, email QIInetwork@tmf.org.