Study: Nursing homes unprepared for pandemics

If your hospital is counting on having help from nursing homes when emergencies hit, think again. A new study suggests that more than half of nursing homes won't be prepared to accept hospital overflow if an influenza pandemic occurs. For example, 52 percent of nursing homes in Michigan and Nebraska don't have a plan for any pandemic, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Of those with a plan, only 10 percent have rehearsed it, researchers say. All told, out of 400 nursing homes in the study, only 23 percent had a specific plan for influenza pandemics. Researchers note that while any flu could result in a pandemic, the greatest threat comes from avian flu, which has killed at least 216 people worldwide since 2003.

To learn more about this study:
- read this Associated Press article

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