ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0255.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Care home; Long-term care; Social care; Preparedness; Contingency plan; Safety culture; Workforce; Survey
Online: 9 June 2021 (10:52:34 CEST)
(1) Background: Nursing homes’ preparedness in managing a public health crisis has been fragile, with effects on safety culture. The objective of this study was to assess nursing homes’ COVID-19 preparedness in Southern Portugal, including personnel’s work experiences during the pandemic. (2) Methods: We used a COVID-19 preparedness checklist to be completed by management teams, followed by follow-up calls to nursing homes. Thereafter, a survey to personnel was applied. Data analysis included descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, and thematic analysis of open-end questions. (3) Results: In total, 71% (138/195) of eligible nursing homes returned the preparedness checklist. We conducted 83 follow-up calls and received 720 replies to the personnel survey. On average, 25% of nursing homes did not have an adequate decision-making structure to respond to the pandemic. Outbreak capacity and training were fragile areas among nursing homes’ contingency plans. We identified compliance with procedures and nonpunitive response to mistakes as fragile areas of safety culture, and teamwork as a strong safety area. (4) Conclusions: To strengthen how nursing homes cope with upcoming phases of the COVID-19 pandemic or future public health emergencies, nursing homes’ preparedness and safety culture should be fostered and closely monitored.