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Scripps Gerontology report says most Ohio nursing homes prepared for H1N1 virus

12/07/2009

Nearly two-thirds of licensed Ohio nursing homes and residential care facilities surveyed have engaged in preparedness planning for the H1N1 virus, according to a new report from the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University.

Though older persons are not considered at high risk for the virus, the survey indicates that most Ohio nursing homes and residential care facilities have completed, or are in the process of implementing, additional infection-control measures (94 percent); education of staff, residents and family members on the implications of the pandemic (87 percent); designated staff time to coordinate H1N1 preparedness training (75 percent). Other key findings include:

  • 79 percent of facilities plan to implement H1N1 vaccinations to residents when the vaccine becomes available
  • 81 percent of facilities plan to implement H1N1 vaccinations to staff when the vaccine becomes available
  • 82 percent have a plan for addressing staff absences due to the virus
  • 62 percent plan for accepting hospital influenza patients

Scripps researchers conducted an online survey of all 975 Ohio nursing homes and 555 state residential care facilities. The questionnaire Scripps used was developed in large part from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services’ “Long Term Care (LTC) and Other Residential Facilities Pandemic Influenza Checklist,” and includes 28 separate indicators.

Survey results can be found in the report “Pandemic Influenza Preparedness in Licensed Nursing Homes and Residential Care Facilities in Ohio,” authored by William Ciferri, Scripps associate director and senior researcher, and funded by the Ohio General Assembly through the Ohio Board of Regents to the Ohio Long-Term Care Research Projects.

Copies are available online at http://www.units.muohio.edu/scripps/research/publications/influenzapreparedness.html.

For more information, contact Ciferri at (513) 529-1968 or ciferrwb@muohio.edu.

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