Nursing homes partner to share best practices amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Residents at the Southern Pines nursing home are separated and wear face coverings during their daily bingo game in Warner Robins, Ga. in June. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

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INDIANAPOLIS — Nursing homes across Indiana are partnering to share key resources and information during the pandemic. Now they are calling on more facilities to join their program.

The Indiana Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network offers weekly calls with industry leaders and experts to share best practices with more than 200-facilities in the state. It was the first of its kind created in the country.

The program’s curriculum changes based on the needs of participating facilities. The topics cover everything from improving infection control practices to offering solutions for staffing shortages.

“That’s the kind of thing that we talk about in these calls as well. We are focused on preventing the virus from getting into buildings. if it is in the building, how do we mitigate the spread within the building now that we have a vaccine, how do we get the vaccine to everyone that’s in a long term care setting,” said Kathleen Unroe, a Nursing Home Physician & Regenstrief Institute Researcher.

Enrollment is now open for additional facilities who may want to sign up. Program leaders say they hope to extend this information-sharing structure to improve the quality of life of all long term care residents, well beyond the pandemic.

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