Reimagining Infection Control in U.S. Nursing Homes in the Era of COVID-19

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2022 Dec;23(12):1909-1915. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2022.10.022. Epub 2022 Nov 16.


Residents of nursing homes (NHs) are susceptible to infection, and these facilities, particularly those that provide post-acute care services, are high-risk settings for the rapid spread of communicable respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses, as well as antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The complexity of medical care delivered in most NHs has increased dramatically over the past 2 decades; however, the structure and resources supporting the practice of infection prevention and control in these facilities has failed to keep pace. Rising numbers of infections caused by Clostridioides difficile and multidrug-resistant organisms, as well as the catastrophic effects of COVID-19 have pushed NH infection control resources to a breaking point. Recent changes to federal regulations require NHs to devote greater resources to the facility infection control program. However, additional changes are needed if sustained improvements in the prevention and control of infections and antibiotic resistance in NHs are to be achieved.

Keywords: COVID-19; Infection prevention and control; healthcare-associated infection; outbreak.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control
  • Nursing Homes