Susan C. Reinhard, RN, PhD, FAAN, is Senior Vice President and Director of the AARP Public Policy Institute. She leads the LTSS Choices project and serves as the Chief Strategist for the Center to Champion Nursing in America and Family Caregiving Initiatives. She is the leader of the LTSS State Scorecard and LTSS Choices Initiative to promote the transformation of long-term care. Her areas of expertise include bridging research, policy, and practice in family caregiving; long-term services and supports; and the health care workforce. Read her full biography.
AARP Public Policy Institute’s Nursing Home Dashboard has tracked and analyzed COVID-19 case, death, and vaccination data since 2020. The Dashboard’s findings reveal a distressing trend among both nursing home residents and staff: not everyone is vaccinated and not everyone is “up to date” with boosters.
Two leaders in the field of nursing, recently conducted an informal online survey asking nurses how the public, their patients and their friends and families can support nurses. Distilling the responses into ten key actions, they propose that if everyone in this country did just one, we could begin to heal the heart of health care.
Successful deprescribing (that is, reducing or eliminating certain drugs that may be causing harm) in the course of routine care may depend on strengthening and elevating the information that is available to consumers.
There is both an opportunity and an imperative to redesign the next Scorecard. This tool has the potential to draw further attention to critical issues in LTSS exposed by the COVID-19 crisis and help states build and maintain momentum in their efforts to modernize their LTSS systems.
The Build Back Better Act that recently passed in the U.S. House of Representatives and is under consideration in the U.S. Senate includes several sections that could drive improvement in nursing home staffing and ultimately resident care and safety.
As facilities use the lessons learned to put in place policies and programs to continue delivering COVID-19 vaccines, they also should evaluate the quality and effectiveness of their influenza and pneumococcal immunization programs.