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Nursing home inspections to step up for COVID-19

| Mar 17, 2020 | Uncategorized

When people in Illinois have loved ones in a nursing home, they may be concerned about their safety. While many people attempt to screen a care facility before placing a relative there, it can be difficult to know everything that happens during the day, especially for people with busy schedules who can only engage in short visits. Reports of COVID-19 spreading in nursing homes across the country has also raised fears about how well vulnerable residents are being protected. Now, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be stepping up the number of health inspections performed at nursing homes nationwide.

These inspections will first focus on areas where coronavirus has already broken out, because care facility residents may be particularly vulnerable. Of course, many people in nursing homes are elderly or suffer from other health conditions that could suppress their immune system. An abusive or neglectful care facility poses the greatest danger, because patients’ health can be more significantly compromised even before poor infection control practices become an issue. Even otherwise caring facilities may be neglectful about best practices for infections, however. The facility in Washington with significant COVID-19 spread was cited last year for infection control problems as well.

The inspectors will examine how food is prepared and served, how frequently staff wash their hands and how well protocols are followed for the use of gloves and other protective gear. Across the country, nursing homes are most frequently cited for problems with infection control, an issue that has become even more critical in the wake of the coronavirus.

Some nursing home patients may suffer severe injuries and worsened health conditions or even lose their lives due to neglect or abuse. An attorney may help injured residents or their loved ones take action against those responsible for nursing home neglect.

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