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Veterans Health Administration Staff Perceptions of Overseeing Care in Community Nursing Homes During COVID-19.
Haverhals LM, Magid KH, Blanchard KN, Levy CR. Veterans Health Administration Staff Perceptions of Overseeing Care in Community Nursing Homes During COVID-19. Gerontology & geriatric medicine. 2022 Feb 15; 8:23337214221080307.
The Veterans Health Administration (VA) contracts with non-VA owned and operated community nursing homes (CNHs) to provide Veterans nursing home care. This study explored VA staffs' experiences coordinating care with CNH staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Qualitative study interviewing VA staff overseeing and coordinating care for CNH Veterans. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed using inductive and deductive thematic analysis.
Three themes influenced care coordination. (1) Pre-established working relationships strengthened trust in CNH staff and remote access to CNH electronic medical records (EMRs). (2) Remote oversight proved challenging as virtual visits did not fully capture Veterans' needs and Veterans experienced challenges due to cognitive status, hearing impairment, and discomfort with technology. (3) Partnerships strengthened as VA staff provided CNHs personal protective equipment, COVID-19 testing, infection control education, and emotional support.
Despite pre-existing relationships and improved partnerships, most VA staff felt uncertain about the quality of oversight provided through remote monitoring and preferred in-person interactions. However, they found benefit in remote access to CNH EMRs and shared optimism with expanding virtual care.
Fostering strong partnerships between VAs and CNHs improve care coordination during crises like the COVID-19 pandemic and for daily care.