Health Of Long-Term Care Facilities Crucial To Coronavirus Fight | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Health Of Long-Term Care Facilities Crucial To Coronavirus Fight | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

joining us now is dr.

Michael Wasserman he's president of the California Association of long-term care medicine is also the medical director of the Eisenberg village at the LA longue and Los Angeles Jewish home dr.

Wasson thank you so much for for being with us tonight you've been in the middle of such an interesting and important circumstance thanks for taking time to talk to us thank you so much Rachel you you've actually said it better than I can to be honest with you this is such an important issue right now you know one thing I do want to let people know an outbreak has no reflection on the quality of a nursing home it's what you do about it that matters and nursing homes across the country cannot be afraid to test that is it's it's really critical you know and I will underscore that by saying as I have been reading far and wide and you really have to read local news reports in order to get a handle on this because there isn't national federal reporting on these things yet I will there are certainly circumstances in which there's been large outbreaks and facilities and people in the community say oh that was never a well-run facility and there were earlier complaints but there have been large outbreaks in some facilities that are described as the absolute gold standard you know places where there's been no complaints where people see it as the best facility in the area there doesn't really seem to be any way of escaping this in these facilities just for being a well organized well administered place I would hope that that would lead to a loss of us defensive 'no Schloss of a sense of shame around these outbreaks so we could get more public information about them there's no question Rachel nursing homes are our accelerators for this virus and we literally have to literally put a moat around them and so if we test and we test all the staff and we test all the residents as they did at Briar Oaks what they did immediately once they knew they had positive staff and positive residents was they went into lockdown mode every staff wore personal protective equipment everyone had masks and and I believe in a number of my colleagues around the country believe that once you know you've got the virus in your nursing home if you move into going full-bore on your protection and against stellar infection prevention and control you can actually make a difference and you know an article came out of the New England Journal today that showed again that you don't know what you don't know and there's a lot of facilities out there right now that have staff and residents with the virus and they don't know it and if they just go on about their regular day they're going to become another Kirkland in terms of trying to maintain a practical and constructive approach to this since we've been talking about nursing homes a lot we've heard a lot of people expressing real despair especially if they've got relatives that are in one of these facilities who need to be in a facility like this because they can't be cared for at home we've heard people really distraught worried that there's no way to protect them so what you just said about how there are protocols that work that there are ways to protect people I think is important to hear what I want to know is how we can try to up that standard we can get more facilities up to those kinds of high standards nationwide we have seen individual facilities you know pleading for help in terms of donated PPE for staff we've seen so many facilities where they say they don't have access to testing do you think that we could act systematically as a country to get testing and get PPE and get medical consultation into these facilities to bring more facilities up to that high standard that you're describing quickly not only can we we have no choice we have to this is where the virus grows and accelerates and then leads to more people back in the hospital so if we don't focus on our nursing homes and assisted-living facilities and protect the individuals there you know I use the word skyrocket that that that is true the numbers of folks with the virus and the numbers who will succumb will will dramatically go up so I think it's absolutely critical as a country that we focus on getting personal protective equipment and make testing readily available we've actually developed what we call our quadruple lane which is abundant personal protective equipment readily available testing stellar infection control and then the final pieces all nursing homes need to be running in their emergency preparedness mode because it's a lot of hard work and you know that's one comment I just have to make is the frontline staff in these nursing homes are putting their lives on the line and often some of these folks barely make a living wage if that and they're doing incredible work right now protecting the older adults the vulnerable older adults in our country do you think that it makes sense in the absence of real community mobilization to support nursing homes the way we have seen community mobilization to support doctors and nurses and other health line provider of Health frontline health care providers do you think it makes sense that community groups and you know local governments and civic organizations should be like adopting their local nursing home and trying to figure out what they need that can be either donated or organized for to try to surface their problems to try to get them help and to make them more visible in terms of what they need absolutely honestly in a lot of places the state the federal the counties have failed in this and you know that's what makes our country great is that we do step up and we help each other and I think absolutely everyone should be doing everything they can right now to bring support to nursing homes and assisted livings and I mentioned one other group there's these small group homes which have like six or seven seniors living in them they're also at very high risk so all those areas we all need to be doing everything in our power to help prevent the virus from sort of running amuck within within the walls of those living facilities.

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