CDC Update – Testing

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Featured

A robust and responsive testing infrastructure is essential to our success in stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This overview describes current information on the categories of tests used to detect SARS-CoV-2 infection and the intended strategies for use of those tests, including to diagnose infection, to screen in an effort to reduce asymptomatic or presymptomatic …

OIG – CMS Use of Staffing Data

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Featured

The OIG performed an audit review focusing on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS’s) use of data on nursing home staffing from April 2018 through March 2019; before the COVID-19 pandemic. They also noted recent CMS actions through December 2020. Since November 2016, CMS has required nursing homes to submit payroll-based staffing data, including data on nurses and …

Improving Patient Safety – Communication

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Featured

Despite the challenges faced this year and an emphasis on promoting physical distance, publications in 2020 have demonstrated that persistent efforts continue to evaluate and improve health care communication. Some of these efforts have been in direct response to changes imposed by the COVID pandemic. Moving forward, specific areas and considerations identified in the literature underscore the need for future …

National Tragedy: COVID-19 in the Nation’s Nursing Homes

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Featured

At the Senate Finance Committee Hearing held on Wednesday, March 16, 2021, staff members and operators were interviewed regarding how facilities managed the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the interviews were disturbing and indicated that many facilities struggled with staffing, PPE, resident deaths, the spread of infection, etc. None of this is news to those of us who have lived it …

Cancer Screening During the Pandemic

Angie Szumlinski Featured, Health

Minimal data are available regarding the pandemic’s impact on cancer screening between diverse health care settings by various screening tests, and across demographic groups. The National Cancer Institute’s Population-based Research to Optimize the Screening Process (PROSPR) consortium compared breast, cervical, colorectal, and lung cancer screening rates before and after the pandemic and developed recommendations including: Broader implementation of remote testing …

AstraZeneca Response

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Featured, News

Following a recent concern raised around thrombotic events, AstraZeneca issued a press release to offer its reassurance on the safety of its COVID-19 vaccine based on clear scientific evidence. Safety is of paramount importance and the company is continually monitoring the safety of its vaccine. A careful review of all available safety data of more than 17 million people vaccinated …

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator

Angie Szumlinski Announcements, Featured

The CDC released an updated PPE Burn Rate Calculator with the following instructions for use: The Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Burn Rate Calculator (Version 2) excel icon[XLS – 2 MB] is a spreadsheet-based model that will help healthcare facilities plan and optimize the use of PPE for response to COVID-19. Non-healthcare facilities such as correctional facilities may also find this tool useful. To …

Access to Ombudsman – Revised QSO-20-28-NH

Angie Szumlinski Compliance, Featured

CMS updated the original QSO-20-28-NH from April 24, 2020 on July 09, 2020 and again on March 10, 2021. A summary of the updates are below: CMS is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s nursing homes are prepared to respond to the threat of the COVID-19. Nursing Home Compare website and Nursing Home Five Star Quality Rating System: …

Differentiate SARS-CoV-2, FLU A, FLU B and RSV

Angie Szumlinski Featured

Abbott Laboratories announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the company’s Alinity™ m Resp-4-Plex molecular assay to detect and differentiate SARS-CoV-2, influenza A, influenza B and Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV) in one test. This is an important tool because these viruses have similar symptoms but require different treatment approaches. This test …