New Partnership to Reduce Infection-Related Deaths in Nursing Homes Worldwide

The New York Academy of Medicine, Yale School of Nursing and Saraya Partner on Infection Control

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

New York, NY, Nov. 23, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) has partnered with the Yale School of Nursing to advance the understanding and prevention of infections in long-term care facilities worldwide with support from Saraya Co. Ltd., a global manufacturer of hygiene and healthcare products. This coalition of experts will identify the burden of and opportunities for infection control in these settings, convene a global Virtual Summit for Infection Prevention in Nursing Homes, and develop an educational toolkit with instructional modules to address infection control challenges. The summit, to be held on December 2 and 8, will feature leaders in the field from across the U.S. as well as Australia, Scotland and Thailand.

 “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new urgency to address the gaps in infection control in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” said Judith A. Salerno, MD, MS, NYAM President. “NYAM and the Yale School of Nursing are combining our expertise to inform facilities across New York, the U.S. and the world in creating environments that optimize safety, health and well-being for their residents and staff.”

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are universally problematic in facilities providing long-term care for older adults. In the United States, there are roughly 15,700 nursing homes, serving approximately 1.4 million residents. Each year, an estimated 1 million–2.6 million serious infections occur in nursing homes, which are the leading causes of death among their residents. As of August 2020, nearly half of all U.S. deaths from COVID-19 are nursing home residents or workers. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidance for infection control in nursing homes during COVID-19, but in practice, variations in implementing these recommendations can result in increased morbidity and mortality within the resident population. Understanding the factors that determine the capability and propensity of long-term care facilities to prevent HAIs, including facilitators and barriers at the policy, regional, and facility levels, is critically important in ensuring that these facilities can adequately provide safe care for their residents and staff. 

NYAM will synthesize the evidence base with existing infection control policies, and solicit perspectives from experts in the field at the global virtual summit on December 2 and 8. Together, these activities will provide the background necessary for identifying gaps and other resource needs for the prevention and control of HAIs in long-term care facilities, including needs related to staffing, education, organizational culture, and equipment. The findings will inform the development of a toolkit, led by Yale nursing scientists, that will include simulation exercises, data visualization, and other instructional and learning modules. 

“Historically, pandemics such as influenza, polio, measles, smallpox, and the current rapid spread of COVID-19 remind us of our vulnerability and about the importance of hygiene and other prevention strategies, particularly for those most at-risk such as persons living in nursing homes and other communal facilities,” said Elaine Larson, RN, PhD, FAAN, Scholar-in-Residence at NYAM. “One of our goals for this project is to enhance the culture of safety and freedom from preventable infections and never forget the lessons of the past.”

“Our goal and top priority in this project is to be able to provide very concrete safety tools that will keep residents and staff safe from contracting COVID-19,” said Carmen Portillo, PhD, RN, FAAN, Executive Deputy Dean & Professor of Nursing at Yale School of Nursing. “Families with loved ones residing in nursing homes across the globe depend on staff in these facilities to keep their family members safe. We need to do better.”

“This collaborative project with NYAM was launched due to the concern on the occurrence of COVID-19 clusters in nursing homes all over the world,” said Yusuke Saraya, President of Saraya Co. Ltd. “It will be important to address the issues of cluster formation in the environments with many compromised hosts and improve the situation to prevent further spread of infection.”

About The New York Academy of Medicine 
The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) tackles the barriers that prevent every individual from living a healthy life. NYAM generates the knowledge needed to change the systems that prevent people from accessing what they need to be healthy such as safe and affordable housing, healthy food, healthcare, and more. Through its high-profile programming for the general public, focused symposia for health professionals, and its base of dedicated Fellows and Members, NYAM engages the minds and hearts of those who also value advancing health equity to maximize health for all. For more information, visit and follow @nyamnyc on social media.