Nursing homes: is a “consultant” enough?

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Nursing homes and etcetera still on Gadfly’s mind.

At the Friday April 17 video conference by City staff, we learned that the City was facilitating contact — acting as “liaison” — between our nursing homes and a consultant hired by the state.

That consultant was ECRI.

At the April 21 City Council meeting we learned that there were outbreaks at 3 sites but that one site had transferred the affected residents, so that two sites were the current focus. And we learned that one of those sites had a “virtual call” with ECRI on April 21 and that the City was working to connect the other site as well as the non-affected sites with ECRI.

Gadfly would have liked to have numbers so that he could gauge the severity of the outbreaks.

The Maddow’d Gadfly has said previously that the liaison/facilitator role seemed a bit too “hands-off” to him, as if, and he hopes he is mistaken here, the City was handing off responsibility to the individual nursing homes to contact the consultant. Call ’em if you need ’em.

The press release below doesn’t especially make him feel any better:

1) “ECRI’s experienced patient safety and infection control staff will be on-call twelve hours a day, weekdays”: ECRI is dealing with all the nursing homes in the state. Are they staffed for such a circumstance? They aren’t available on weekends? Will a “Jake from State Farm” always be available in a pinch?

2) “As part of its mission to advance effective, evidence-based healthcare globally, ECRI developed a public-access COVID-19 Resource Center”: Their “selling point” is a resource center. This is a generalized resource and what Gadfly would call a “passive” resource. It’s there for you to use if you want it and if you know what you are looking for. It doesn’t feel an “active” enough resource to Gadfly. Shouldn’t somebody be visiting/inspecting these sites?

“Consultant” doesn’t seem what is needed. Gadfly realizes that most of these sites are private businesses, but in this pandemic it feels like someone with power should be actively investigating the conditions at these sites that are accounting for 50% of the deaths from the virus.

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PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa.April 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the Department of Health signed a contract this week with ECRI, an independent nonprofit organization improving the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of care across all healthcare settings worldwide, to provide COVID-19 response for long-term care facilities.

“It’s imperative that the state do all that we can to protect all Pennsylvanians, but especially those most vulnerable to COVID-19, and so the Department of Health made the right decision to enlist experts in the field of infection control to help protect those in the state’s long-term care facilities,” said Governor Wolf.

With decades of experience in assisting healthcare providers during outbreaks, ECRI will provide individualized infection control and prevention assistance to long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania as the pandemic continues. ECRI’s experienced patient safety and infection control staff will be on-call twelve hours a day, weekdays. They will coordinate with the Department Operations Center who is currently providing support to those working in coronavirus response.

ECRI will also help the department evaluate personal protective equipment (PPE) and research different ways to maximize available resources.

“ECRI is focused on keeping residents, patients, and healthcare workers safe as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.  Vulnerable populations, like long-term care residents, are increasingly in harm’s way,” says Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO, ECRI.

For decades, ECRI has worked closely with aging care communities in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation on emergency preparedness, disaster planning, and resident safety.

As part of its mission to advance effective, evidence-based healthcare globally, ECRI developed a public-access COVID-19 Resource Center to help hospitals, ambulatory care, and aging care facilities protect healthcare workers, residents, and patients. The site includes infection control guidance, medical device guidance on PPE, ventilators, and infusion therapies, and clinical evidence assessments on coronavirus-related treatments, therapies, and interventions.

For more information about ECRI, or to request support, visit www.ecri.org, call (610) 825-6000, or e-mail clientservices@ecri.org.

Social Sharing

News: @PAHealthDept signs contract w/ @ECRI_Org to support #ltc facilities w/ #COVID-19 response

About ECRI
ECRI is an independent, nonprofit organization improving the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of care across all healthcare settings. With a focus on patient safety, evidence-based medicine, and health technology decision solutions, ECRI is respected and trusted by healthcare leaders and agencies worldwide. Over the past fifty years, ECRI has built its reputation on integrity and disciplined rigor, with an unwavering commitment to independence and strict conflict-of-interest rules.

ECRI is the only organization worldwide to conduct independent medical device evaluations, with labs located in North America and Asia Pacific. ECRI is designated an Evidence-based Practice Center by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and a federally certified Patient Safety Organization by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2020, The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) formally became an ECRI Affiliate.

Visit www.ecri.org and follow @ECRI_Org to learn more.

One thought on “Nursing homes: is a “consultant” enough?

  1. I don’t know anything about ECRI, except they seem to be respected in the field — on the other hand, that doesn’t always mean much when the learning curve is so steep on how to manage the epidemic and how to treat acute cases.

    Case in point: doctors are now learning that using mechanical ventilators can cause worse outcomes. What is ECRI’s advice on this?

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