During the past year, the pandemic has touched the lives of everyone. Within the healthcare industry, countless hours have been spent on implementing newly required processes, families have been restricted from visiting their loved ones, and completed vaccination clinics offer a light at the end of the tunnel.
At Sunporch of Smith County, positive cases have been minuscule. Tammy Pettijohn, Administrator, shared, “as of today, only 1 elder and a small handful of staff have tested positive for the Coronavirus. We believe that is directly tied to the small home design and dedication of staff following processes.”
Sunporch, one of 346 Greenhouse certified homes throughout the United States, participated in a study which compared the small homes with the traditional nursing home industry. The data collected showed that the average number of elders testing positive in the Greenhouse certified homes was 51% less than industry standards, many with zero – 2 positive cases. Deaths were 72% less in the Greenhouse homes. The components of the Green House homes that may be critical for infection prevention and control are that they house only 10-12 residents and have consistent and universal staff assignments, thus limiting the number of ancillary staff. Each elder has a private room and private bath which also minimizes exposure to others that may have contracted the virus.
Research on the Greenhouse homes, including Sunporch of Smith County, has found their benefits include better resident quality of life, fewer hospital readmissions, reduced Medicare spending, and less staff turnover. Now, they can add fewer positive COVID cases to the list of benefits as well.