By: Doe Kley, BS, RN, CIC, MPH, CIC, T-CHEST,Senior Infection Preventionist,Clorox Healthcare
Pre-Conference Workshop: IP&C in Long-Term Care (LTC) – The Future is Now:
Speakers: Deb Burdsall, PhD, RN-BC, CIC, FAPIC; Assistant Adjunct Professor, University of Iowa College of Nursing; Manager, Baldwin Hill Solutions LLC, Infection Prevention for Long-Term Care Teri Hulett, RN, BSN, CIC, FAPIC; Infection Prevention Consultant, Infection Prevention Strategies LLC Buffy J. Lloyd-Krejci, DrPH, MS, CIC; Owner, IPC Well, LLC; Infection Preventionist
This day-long session was kicked off by calling out the elephant in the room: IP&C in LTC was an issue before the pandemic. In fact, 82% of LTCFs surveyed between 2013 and 2017 were cited for an IP&C deficiency. Infections are the most frequent cause of transfers and readmissions to the hospital. Two very important topics covered in this workshop were 1) Process surveillance and 2) Enhanced Barrier Precautions (EBP). For more information on the latter, see my June HICPAC Hub blog post. Regarding process surveillance, it is the review of staff practices with the purpose to identify whether staff implement and comply with IP&C policies and procedures. It is also required by CMS. Not only do IPs need to perform outcomes surveillance (e.g., healthcare-associated infections), they need to collect data and act on the findings around processes that can lead to infections. A good example is to observe cleaning and disinfection practices and to provide timely feedback to frontline workers.
At the session closing, new IPs who started in the profession during the pandemic were cautioned to be mindful that the IP&C practices observed were not best practices. Reuse of single-use personal protective equipment is a great example. For more on the CMS infection control requirements for LTCFs, see my blog post titled “New CMS Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities – Are You Ready?”
I will conclude with a reminder inspired by Simon T. Bailey in the closing plenary session: Never forget that you all are diamonds – created under pressure and it is your time to shine!
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