An average of 15 percent of all nursing homes received a deficiency citation for infection control each year from 2000 to 2007, according to a study published by the American Journal of Infection Control. This study examined the deficiency citation for infection control, which represents potential problems in infection control as identified in the yearly certification process of almost all US nursing homes.

The study discovered a strong correlation between low staffing levels and the receipt of an infection control deficiency citation in its sample of approximately 16,000 nursing homes per year and a panel of about 100,000 observations between 2000 and 2007. The records analyzed represent 96 percent of all U.S. nursing homes.

Those overseeing the survey conclude that, "The high number of deficiency citations for infection control problems identified in this study suggests the need for increased emphasis on these programs in nursing homes to protect vulnerable elders."

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