Linda Spaulding, RN, BC, CIC, CHEC, CHOP: I was recently asked whether I think coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) will change regulations within long-term care facilities (LTCFs)LTCFs). I decided I wanted to look at it from the perspective of what went wrong in the utilization of current US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations. The current regulations are written in a way where, on paper, the regulations are easy to survey, but what is missing is the ability to ensure LTCFs have a strong infrastructure that supports infection prevention and control success in the LTC arena.
First, I decided to see what is happening across the United States related to outbreaks of COVID- 19 in the nursing homes. I have been working as an infection prevention and control consultant for LTCFs and other healthcare arenas since 1992. I would have predicted that LTCFs would be on the losing end of COVID-19 if someone did not step in early to educate and assist these facilities. LTCFs could not handle this type of a communicable disease on their own.