2021 Winter GAPNA Newsletter Volume 40 Number 4

Lessons from COVID-19 Outbreak in Michigan Nursing Homes

A recent study identified opportunities to improve pandemic preparedness among Michigan nursing homes, which were hard hit by COVID-19.

Representatives from 143 nursing homes responding in spring 2020 to a 43-question online survey said they had dealt with equipment shortages, conflicting information from a range of sources, testing difficulties, and staffing challenges.

Lessons learned in the early pandemic experience included the potential value of interventions such as:

  • Improving information sharing between nursing homes and local health systems
  • Employing full-time infection preventionists with decision-making authority
  • Enhancing staffing ratios and retention by augmenting compensation and working to reduce leadership turnover
  • Including nursing homes alongside hospitals in regional emergency preparedness planning

Access the study abstract safety and quality improvement tools in the COVID-19 Resources Catalog for Nursing Homes.