July 5, 2022

Is Long Term Care Broken?

Picture this: a category five hurricane converges on a city. The streets are crammed with the traffic of evacuees. Yet, rather than helping these panicked people, the number of traffic cops is increased by sevenfold to ensure they are all given speeding tickets.

Dr. Buffy Lloyd-Krejci, best selling author and a major authority on infection control and prevention in nursing homes, explains how this illogical scenario is essentially what took place in nursing homes and senior care facilities who were targeted by infection control surveyors during the early days of COVID-19.


Having worked on the front lines with hundreds of nursing homes to develop effective infection control strategies, Dr. Buffy got a firsthand look at the way in which these facilities were targeted during the height of the pandemic.

She was moved by the stories she heard and problems she observed, to write her best selling novel Broken which highlights the difficulties faced by nursing homes in implementing infection control. 

Most of these difficulties stem predictably from staffing and budget challenges. All nursing homes are required to have at least a part time infection preventionist on staff, but many take on the role while also holding other positions and with little training or hands on experience. 

Dr. Buffy’s company, IPCWell, helps in these common situations by working with facilities to teach and support their infection preventionist in developing efficient and effective methods that will function inside a facility’s means and budget. 

However, a considerable amount of difficulty is also brought about by the barrage of continuously changing rules and regulations.

Responsible regulations are always needed for the functioning of any industry. However, Dr. Buffy states that their sheer volume is crippling for senior care and makes it nearly impossible for facilities to operate inside. 

This came to a head in 2020 when, instead of helping nursing homes suffering from no PPE and with overworked staff who were risking their lives, the government invested $80,000,000 in targeted infection control surveys. 

In an effort to show that this money was being put to use, even the smallest action not following regulations word for word was cited. 

Dr. Buffy states that instead of punishing nursing homes, this funding and attention should be put towards helping them and advocating for them. 

The last chapter of Broken  explains how anyone who has a relative in a nursing home can advocate for their facility. 

 

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