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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a reminder to all facilities to review infection prevention and control policies, ensuring processes are in place to prevent the spread of disease. All healthcare facilities should be prepared for general, everyday infection prevention, as well as in the event of a local epidemic or outbreak of infectious disease.
The media coverage for the Coronavirus outbreak has been vast and with the various reports in the media this has certainly created fear and panic, even among healthcare professionals. While widespread transmission within the U.S. remains very low this is a great reminder of why healthcare facilities put plans in place and now is the time to ensure compliance.
Is your facility prepared?
Having solid processes in place can help not only prevent the spread of more common diseases encountered every day in healthcare, but also respiratory illness such as seasonal Influenza and novel emerging threats.
Infection Prevention Methods to Reduce Spread of Disease, may include:
1) Hand hygiene compliance program and policies
- Ensure adequate supply of alcohol-based hand rub as well as sinks and soap for hand washing
2) Personal protective equipment
- Education for staff and providers on correct use
- Education for staff to know when a mask is needed during patient care
3) Cough/respiratory etiquette
- Respiratory hygiene stations should be commonly found at entrances to facilities and include masks, Kleenex and alcohol-based hand rub. Evaluate process for restricting ill visitors
4) Policies regarding employee health/illness
- Establish process for employees to follow up upon exposure to communicable illness
- Procedure for sick employees to stay home from work until symptoms are resolved
5) Standard & transmission-based precautions
- Education for staff on standard and transmission-based precautions
- Knowledge of when to implement, discontinue, proper PPE needed for each precaution as well as proper cleaning protocols
6) Environmental cleaning process and EPA approved disinfectants
- Ensure the proper solutions and process are used
7) Pandemic/influx of infectious patients plan
- Process for screening patients and isolating if needed to help reduce risk of disease spread
8) Reporting through local health dept & follow CDC guidance
- Follow local health department guidelines for required reportable disease notification
- Outbreak Resource Tracking Tool-LTC
- CMS Emergency Preparedness
- CMS COVID-19 Memo
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Protect Your Facility
Infection control is the most cited regulatory issue with both federal & state reviews. Part of the reason is because infection prevention is a complex role often assigned to an overworked nurse. eInfectionMD adds more than a decade of knowledge to your team without hiring someone new. Find out how eIMD can keep your patients, staff, and family safe all while reducing costs.
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