Nursing Homes Prepare for the Flu

January 7th, 2013

While nursing homes can be a huge life-saver for families unable to care for their family members, having dozens (or sometimes hundreds) of people beneath the same roof may give some cause for pause – especially when flu season hits.

According to The Patriot News out of Central PA, several Pennsylvania nursing homes, especially those in the Harrisburg area, are preparing for a particularly difficult flu season. There have already been several news reports about this flu season hitting harder than those previous.

The problem in nursing homes is three-fold. The first is the close confines the residents share. If one becomes sick, she may share with her roommates or those she meets in common areas. Even if she doesn’t share her illness via direct contact, the contact she has with nurses who aren’t practicing proper hygiene may act as a conduit.

The second problem is family members and visitors. In the Elizabethtown home in question, Masonic Villages, anyone who steps into the facility who has not had a flu shot must wear a mask when visiting residents. Those who have had the flu are cautioned not to visit until they’ve been fever-free for a full 24-hour period.

Finally, the nurses and caregivers themselves may become an issue. While most healthcare facilities have not in the past required workers to have a flu shot, there is now a precedent in other areas. Can you imagine being told that if you refuse a flu shot you’ll be fired from your job?

Right now, the staff at the Masonic Villages home is receiving preventative Tamiflu. If given within 24-48 hours of exposure or the onset of symptoms, it is believed that Tamiflu can prevent or decrease the severity of flu symptoms.

So what do you think? Is there really any way to prevent the flu – or any other virus – from spreading? Is it fair to force healthcare workers to take a flu shot? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Another Patient Nusiance

April 3rd, 2012

Utility carts used in hospitals and nursing homes can grate on the ears (and nerves) of patients.

Rubbermaid is a household word in the United States. The commercial division began thirty five (35) years ago and now serves businesses around the World. Rubbermaid products are found in hospitals, schools, homes,the food service industry, hotels and government buildings. Rubbermaid products are built tough and are strong enough to last for years, even decades. Two (2) of the Rubbermaid products made today and available are utility carts.

One of the benefits of these carts are that the casters are very smooth and quiet. This is very important for hospital and nursing home settings where the peace of the patients are of utmost importance. Instead of investing your money into soundproofing invest it in a quality Rubbermaid utility cart instead of a noisy hand truck.

These RUBBERMAID UTILITY CARTS are perfect for use as an AV or Audio Visual cart as well and will allow you to move diverse products over many different kinds of surfaces. The casters are flexible, sturdy and easy to maneuver. The plastic type surfaces are excellent for florists, caterers, hospitals, school cafeterias, restaurants and many more. Rubbermaid is a company known for the reliability and strong construction of their products. Ordering a Rubbermaid Utility Cart is a great choice.

Patients Curtains

March 28th, 2012

As we have noted many times on our site patient care includes noiseproofing their environment. In many ICU wards and emergency rooms however patients are divided by not more than a curtain. A drapery owner as come up with an interesting idea by utilizing the thin half pound mass loaded vinyl which is only a 1/16 of an inch thick, they managed to sew it together with their drapery fabric for a pretty decent sound barrier curtain. We don’t expect full sound control in such settings however it is a big help in giving patients and nurses a semblance of privacy and quiet.

Hospital Grade Gasketing

December 15th, 2011

Some psychiatric wards have safety issues with the rubber that can be found inside of gasketing that goes around doors and windows. patients can pull out long strips of strong silicone and harm themselves and/or others with it. The answer: Anti-Ligature strips. these strips of neoprene and silicone are notched so that when pulling on it it will break into small pieces. This Door and Window hardware site is selling it in different shapes and forms. They can even have it used in a door bottom sweep. New York State is one of the first states to recommend it’s usage and it is just a matter of time before it is mandated in certain facilities.

Patients assaulted by Noise

October 24th, 2011

In a great in depth study by Herman Milller the effect of noise on patients healthcare is surprisingly interesting and bothersome. Interesting in how much noise actually effects the mental and physical health driving home the point we have been blogging about again and again, that noise is a real pollution. And bothersome due to the fact as to how far technology in the health care sector has come and yet this simple idea of constructing sound proof rooms is largely ignored. One of the reasons is because a proper soundproofing company needs to be contacted before the construction and rehab of any health care facility. Hopefully the above mentioned article will bring us a step closer to getting it done the correct way.

Staying Out Of The Nursing Home

June 3rd, 2011

We all know that staying at home will keep you healthier and younger than when you are in a nursing home. Patients do not always realize that staying at home is an option. Sometimes it is nothing more than calling in a specialized contractor for handicapped. They can build retrofit bathtubs extra wide doorways, wheelchair ramps and a variety of other handicap modification that can keep you leaving in your home for a number of years longer than you thought. There are many good contractors around. Here is one specialized contractor for handicapped in NJ that we came across.

Nursing Homes Under Fire

April 6th, 2011

Nursing homes in the UK are finding under fire as new inspection standards go into place. Staff working for nursing homes in the UK will have to register with the newly created “Health and Care Workers Professions Council” and will be required to undergo testing.

Homes that don’t comply with the new procedures run the risk of losing all of their public funding – a risk none are willing to take in this economy. Not only are nursing homes now worried about sound proofing and internal standards of care, but they now have the government eyeballing them as well.

Easy Soundproofing with Whisper Clips

March 30th, 2011

We talk a lot about hospitals and nursing homes and their need for better soundproofing. While we do talk about Green Glue very frequently, it is important to recognize that there are other useful soundproofing materials on the market as well.

This video showcases whisper clips and will give you an idea of how easy they are to install. Check it out!

4 Hartford Area Nursing Homes to Close

March 23rd, 2011

Last week a Hartford court recommended the closing of 4 nursing homes in and around the Hartford area. The four homes in the ruling are owned by Omega Healthcare Investors and have fallen under the management of the Genesis Healthcare group for the past few years.

The homes were originally owned by Haven Healthcare, a group that went bankrupt in 2008. The judge determined that the homes, which lost $6.5 million in 2009, could not recover and would have even greater losses if they were able to repay their debts.

The residents are to be moved to new homes and after that the homes will close.

Nursing Shortages Cause Deaths

March 20th, 2011

According to a report published by the Mayo Clinic and its partners, facilities with high patient turnover rates and not enough personnel on the nursing staff are likely to have higher patient death levels.

The study has fueled a debate about the ratio of nurse-to-patient staffing that exists in many facilities. Some believe that there should be state or federal laws mandating a minimum acceptable level. The state of California has already begun instituting such a change, and a few other states are about to follow.

It just goes to show that it doesn’t matter how nice or soundproof a facility is. If there isn’t enough staff, things can definitely go awry very quickly.