Hospital Association Issues Pandemic Flu Planning Guide for Nursing Homes

A complimentary planning tool is now available to help the nation's nursing homes prepare for an influenza pandemic. The new resource is courtesy of the New Jersey Hospital Association, with grant funding from Hoffman-LaRoche.

Planning Today for a Pandemic Tomorrow: A Toolkit for Nursing Facilities provides nursing homes with a detailed assessment and planning tool, complete with checklists, sample policies, sample forms and helpful Web links. The guide allows facilities to:

- Review existing policies and procedures

- Identify gaps

- Develop new policies and procedures

- Generate a pandemic influenza plan that will facilitate a more effective response during a crisis.

"The H1N1 scare of last season provided a glimpse of the many challenges facing nursing homes if and when an influenza pandemic strikes," says Diane Anderson, director of emergency preparedness for NJHA. "We are very excited about the opportunity to give nursing homes the tools they need to protect their residents and staff members in the event of an influenza outbreak."

Detailed modules address topics such as clinical considerations, operational issues, communications, legal issues, psycho-social concerns and ethical considerations. The resource is modeled after NJHA's original pandemic flu planning document created for acute care hospitals.

The NJHA is providing complimentary copies of the toolkit on CD to all New Jersey nursing homes, as well as to state long-term care associations across the country. Other nursing homes can download a complimentary copy of the guide on the NJHA Web site at www.njha.com/paninf/pdf/FINALPanFluToolkit2010.pdf .

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