We’ve moved into the ‘post-pandemic’ phase of Covid-19, and, with the vast majority of public health guidelines now removed. But nursing home operators can’t forget the virus’s impact on their business.
Navigating a rampant virus, unclear transmission causes, and mixed messaging, healthcare facilities achieved remarkable success in safeguarding vulnerable residents. Despite evolving guidelines and staff shortages, their dedication is a historic triumph in elderly care.
Burnt-out staff had to repeatedly receive and understand guidelines on various risks, including mask selection, laundry protocols, and unvaccinated staff. While anxious family members were seeking out other care options for their loved ones, such as home care. This action impacted revenue for nursing home operators dealing with a set of circumstances they’d done nothing to create.
Neglected Air Quality in Healthcare Facilities Amid Covid-19
Incredibly, air quality and ventilation were largely reduced to footnotes on these reams of guidelines. The only excuse for this can be the lack of understanding around the transmissibility of Covid-19. And even then, this could only be credible in the early days of the crisis.
Almost two years into the pandemic, and thousands of scientific papers later, the WHO finally acknowledged that Covid-19 was mainly transmitted via infected droplets in the air.
On December 23, 2021, it said:
“Current evidence suggests that the virus spreads mainly between people who are in close contact with each other, for example at a conversational distance. The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe.
“Another person can then contract the virus when infectious particles that pass through the air are inhaled at short range (this is often called short-range aerosol or short-range airborne transmission) or if infectious particles come into direct contact with the eyes, nose, or mouth (droplet transmission).
“The virus can also spread in poorly ventilated and/or crowded indoor settings, where people tend to spend longer periods of time. This is because aerosols can remain suspended in the air or travel farther than conversational distance (this is often called long-range aerosol or long-range airborne transmission).”
Air quality concern among families
Ensuring clean air is crucial for infection control, as important as sanitization and PPE. Indoor air quality is vital for older adults’ safety and well-being, improving their lives in nursing homes and similar settings. Monitoring indoor air quality is a growing concern for families choosing care facilities for their loved ones.
Today, nursing homes are rebounding from the loss in business resulting from fear and anxiety over congregated care. The home care sector capitalised during the pandemic, but now new, high-end care homes are opening their doors, and armed with the experience and learnings of the pandemic. They are looking beyond the regulator’s prescriptions, and introducing new and innovative measures to protect resident health and safety.
ZiggyTec’s Indoor Air Quality Monitoring Solution is one such measure.
Indoor Air Quality Monitoring is a Cost-effective solution
ZiggyTec’s IAQ monitoring, a cost-effective solution, enables care workers to comprehend safe ventilation levels and determine the need for simple actions like opening windows to enhance air quality.
Clients can access real-time data on air quality through our cloud platform, and we provide a customised monthly report too. This gives management valuable data for monitoring air quality in each room, including communal areas, and provides an audit trail on ventilation performance.
This knowledge increases comfort for residents and it can also save on heating bills by ensuring windows are open only when they need to be.
The service can also be an important differentiator in the competitive older person care sector, reassuring family members that management takes the health and wellbeing of their loved ones very seriously while providing residents with additional peace of mind.
And that is something every family and their loved ones deserve. Let’s never forget the heart-breaking scenes in nursing homes in the worst days of the pandemic. Families unable to visit their ailing loved ones, or hold their hands in their final moments. Birthdays were celebrated – as far as they could be – through panes of window glass. Staff and families grieving over the untimely loss of beloved residents.
Now that we know the true impact of air quality in Covid-19 transmission, and now that we have the tools and systems available to do something about it, surely we can say with confidence, “Never again”?
To find out how easy and cost-effective it is to add indoor air quality services to your residential care offering, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation today