The Academy of Senior Health Sciences, Inc. (formerly The Ohio Academy of Nursing Homes, Inc.) seeks to provide public education and awareness initiatives to the long-term care community in Ohio. Our membership represents a true cross-section of the skilled nursing facility profession, from small sole proprietorships to larger Ohio-based multi-facility companies, as well as those businesses that service our industry. Through our public education and awareness efforts, the Academy brings the collective influences of the members together into a single voice on vital issues affecting our profession.
Founded in 1966, the Academy then identified one of its core purposes as "To foster a spirit of goodwill among those persons engaged in the nursing home industry, to promote ethical practices in their relationships with each other, their employees, and the general public to the end that all interests may be served fairly..." Though the organization has undergone several transformations over the years, most notably in 2011, its dedication and commitment to Ohio's most frail and elderly remains the same.
| The Academy Weekly Headlines from 2 Weeks Ago|
Visitation, family gatherings, hot topics as holidays approach
The increase in COVID cases is arriving at a time when nursing homes are providing more options for visitation. While the nice weather has allowed for the continuation of outdoor visitation at some facilities, it will probably not last until Thanksgiving and the early winter holidays. Providers are reminded to follow the CMS guidelines in QSO-20-39-NH and the ODH visitation guidelines. CMS also has an FAQ document related to visitation. And while the guidelines say that facilities should restrict visitation in CMS red prevalence counties, it also allows for compassionate care and end of life visits. ODH has said on several calls that failure to allow family visitors during an end of life situation could end-up in an IJ citation. While providers struggle with visitation, the holidays also create another risk - residents leaving the facility to visit with family. ODA Director McElroy said that she was "not comfortable" to allow providers to prevent a resident from leaving; there are resident right and other issues that are of concern, she noted. Providers need to remind residents and their families of the risk not only to their loved one, but also the other residents of the facility should they choose to leave. Providers may want to work with families on how to reduce the risk should they leave the facility, or creating an alternative that is less risky within appropriate guidelines. Also, providers have to determine how to handle the return of residents that leave, including risk factors and quarantining. If they have not already done so, providers need to be thinking of IPC policies that incorporates these scenarios within the CDC and other appropriate guidelines now in preparation of the holidays. Communicating these policies to residents and family members will probably make the holidays better for everyone.
ODH requires NHSN reporting; distributing gowns this week
ODH has updated their COVID reporting requirements for nursing homes. From the ODH COVID reporting webpage:
"CMS-certified long-term care facilities shall submit point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 testing data, including antigen testing data, to CDCís National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).† This requirement to submit data to CDCís NHSN applies only to CMS-certified long-term care facilities. Test data submitted to NHSN will be reported to appropriate state and local health departments using standard electronic laboratory messages. CMS-certified LTC facilities may still connect to ODH directly to submit line level results electronically until NHSN connection is achieved. Other types of LTC facilities may voluntarily report testing data in NHSN to fulfill state reporting requirements described above or connect to ODH directly to submit line level results electronically as described above."
In other news, ODH notified providers via EDIC last week that they would be distributing gowns beginning today. From the EDIC: "Beginning next week (November 9, 2020), the Ohio Department of Health's Receipt, Stage, Store (RSS) warehouse will begin distributing an allotment of one (1) case of medical and one (1) case of non-medical gowns to each of Ohio's registered nursing homes. The direct delivery of these PPE items is intended to support the sustainment of the nursing home PPE needs.
PPE Temperature Control
- Nursing homes will receive a direct shipment of PPE through the following delivery methods:
- Shipment tracking information will be emailed to the point of contact for each facility receiving a shipment through UPS.
With fluctuating climatological conditions of the fall season and in order to maintain maximum efficacy and shelf life expectancy, PPE storage must meet the following requirements:
If you have any questions, please contact the Ohio Department of Health at RSS@odh.ohio.gov.
- Remain in their original packaging until needed
- Store In a hazard-free environment (clean air)
- Keep away from direct sunlight
- Store In a climate-controlled area, with humidity and temperature within the acceptable range specified on the packaging
- Normal climatic conditions should not exceed +86 įF (+30 įC) and not exceed 80% Relative Humidity (RH)
Notes from the ODH provider meeting
The ODH meets with the LTC provider associations on a regular basis. Below are notes from last week's meeting:
If you have a question you would like addressed at the next provider meeting, please contact The Academy prior to Monday at 9 AM.
- *PPE - ODH said that footwear/booties are not a required part of PPE Also, face shields are not a substitute for a face mask, such as a surgical mask. Assisted living providers are to follow the same fit testing and other requirements for N95 masks. It is a OHSA requirement.
- *County color - ODH said they are following the CMS county colors and CMS definition of an outbreak.
- *Restrictions on leaving the facility - As noted in the article above, ODA director McElroy said that providers cannot prevent residents from leaving the facility to visit with family.
- Click Here to read The Academy Weekly in PDF format