1. The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly increased the workload of infection preventionists (IPs) in nursing homes, with hours worked per week increasing from an average of 20 to 38 hours.
2. Despite the additional workload, IPs did not have a significant decrease in their non-IP responsibilities such as staff educator and employee health.
3. Investment into staffing is needed to reduce staff burnout, maintain quality of care, and resident safety in nursing homes.
The article "A Whole New World: Changes in the Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Role in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic" published in the American Journal of Infection Control provides insights into the changes that have occurred in nursing home infection prevention and control programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study compares the infection preventionist (IP) role pre-COVID and during the pandemic, based on a survey of 78 Michigan nursing homes.
The article presents several key findings, including an increase in IP workload from an average of 20 to 38 hours per week, with half of respondents reporting working 40 hours or more on IPC activities. Despite this increased workload, there was no significant decrease in non-IP responsibilities such as staff education and employee health. The use of CDC's National Health Safety Network (NHSN) also contributed to an average of five additional hours per week. The article concludes that investment into staffing is needed to reduce staff burnout and maintain quality of care and resident safety.
Overall, the article provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic and highlights the need for increased staffing resources. However, there are some potential biases and limitations to consider.
Firstly, the study only focuses on nursing homes in Michigan, which may limit its generalizability to other regions or countries. Additionally, while the study compares pre-COVID and intra-COVID periods, it does not provide a comparison with post-COVID periods when vaccination rates have increased significantly.
Furthermore, while the article notes that investment into staffing is needed to reduce staff burnout and maintain quality of care and resident safety, it does not explore potential counterarguments or alternative solutions. For example, increasing automation or technology could potentially reduce workload without requiring additional staffing resources.
Finally, while the article notes that reporting requirements are unlikely to decrease soon, it does not explore potential risks associated with increased reporting requirements or whether these requirements may be excessive or unnecessary.
In conclusion, while "A Whole New World: Changes in the Nursing Home Infection Preventionist Role in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic" provides valuable insights into changes in nursing home infection prevention programs during COVID-19, it is important to consider potential biases and limitations when interpreting its findings. Further research is needed to explore alternative solutions and potential risks associated with increased reporting requirements.