Long-term care facilities aren’t doing enough to protect residents from infectious diseases, suggest the findings of the first attempt in 20 years to assess infection control efforts in nursing homes across Canada.

The study, based on a lengthy survey completed by staff of the facilities, found most don’t have the recommended complement of infection control practitioners and don’t undertake all the recommended activities to look for and prevent infections. The lead author of the study, Dr. Dick Zoutman of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., said more should be done to protect seniors, who are highly vulnerable to infections because of their waning immune systems.