Single Rooms Could Have Prevented 31% of Deaths for Long-Term Care Residents, International Study Finds
A study spanning several countries found that the infrastructure of long-term care has to change drastically to protect residents from health threats like COVID-19, with simulations finding that 31% of coronavirus deaths in Ontario, Canada, would have been prevented if all residents had had single-occupancy rooms.
“Community outbreaks and lack of personal protective equipment were the primary drivers of outbreak occurrence in long-term care homes, and the built environment was the major determinant of outbreak severity,” George Heckman, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, said in a statement on the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.
The study drew from an international virtual town hall held in fall of last year and hosted by Provincial Geriatrics Leadership Ontario (PGLO). The gathering focused on three themes: updating the built long-term care environment, public health versus individual health, and staffing.