Nursing home residents are often vulnerable to health care-associated infections that can significantly increase morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, not must is known about common practices that can prevent these kinds of infections in this setting. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandates that all skilled nursing facilities have an infection prevention and control (IPC) program. However, about 38% of nursing homes in the United States receive a citation for deficiency regarding infection control every year.
Research has shown that most nursing homes do not have professionals who are properly trained and that there is a wide variation across nursing homes in infection prevention emphasis, the incorporation of recommended procedures, and the use of standardized infection detection definitions.
Nursing homes that lack adequately trained infection prevention staff must address this critical issue. Moreover, nursing homes should strive to implement evidence-based practices into their care to decrease the risk of infection in their facilities.