By | May 22, 2014

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a webinar for the Indiana Health Care Association in which an overview of Infection Control was presented.  I wanted to share some key take-aways that everyone in our industry should keep in mind.

It’s estimated that infections cost our industry $673M to $2B annually to treat, and account for up to ½ of all hospitalizations.  It’s no wonder F441 is one of the most commonly cited tags in the US.  We need a cure for the F441 infection!

Post-acute care organizations just need to develop infection prevention and control programs! Easy. Right?  Well here are a few key strategies that can help.

1) Establish a surveillance program that investigates incidents of healthcare associated infections to identify trends and/or outbreaks.  The McGeer criteria are an established set of guidelines specifically designed for surveillance use in LTC facilities.
2) Perform a Root Cause Analysis of any trends or outbreaks
3) Prevent the spread of infection:

  • Through the use of transmission-based precautions, ensuring employees are free from communicable diseases, proper hand hygiene (see our course Hand Hygiene USS-7100), proper med pass protocols and by following the do’s and don’ts of glove use.
  • Review protocols for proper point of care device cleaning as well as linen handling and service.

Even if infection control isn’t an issue your organization struggles with, be proactive and make it a part of the Performance Improvement initiative of your QAPI program.

I told you it was easy.  With the right preventative measures, you’ll fight the F441 tags, reduce hospitalizations related to infections, and have a healthier resident population!

Jennifer Moore, RN

Jennifer Moore, RN has worked in long term care for 12 years. She has held positions including Director of Nursing, Medicare Nurse Coordinator, Nurse Consultant, Area Manager and Director of Quality Assurance. Additionally, she was responsible for maintaining an effective compliance program under a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General for a period of five years. Mrs. Moore was responsible for establishing a zero-house-acquired pressure ulcer program, as well as participating in her company’s community restraint-free initiative.

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