Infection Prevention and Control Resources

With the latest updates to the State Operations Manual, it is more important than ever to promote resident safety and well-being in skilled nursing facilities through infection prevention and control. A robust and successful infection control program requires many thoughtfully designed and well-operating pieces—from antibiotic stewardship and physician engagement to immunization planning and tracking, reduced hospital readmissions, and comprehensive clinical surveillance. Explore the resources below to learn how you can bolster your infection control program, keeping in mind that every ounce of prevention goes a long way toward ensuring a happy and healthy resident population. 

  • Medicare / Medicaid Reform of Requirements for LTC Facilities: CMS Final Rule UPDATED (7/17)

    By CMS - July 18, 2017

    In October 2016, CMS finalized improvements in care, safety, and consumer protections for long-term care facility residents. Revisions mark first major rewrite of the conditions of participation (CoP) for long-term care facilities since 1991. In July 2017, the agency published some corrections.

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  • CMS Releases New Appendix PP Interpretive Guidance for Multiple Tags

    By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - June 30, 2017

    Nov. 28, 2017, marks the implementation of some significant changes in how the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expects nursing homes to operate—and in the survey process that state surveyors will use to assess those operations. CMS survey-and-certification memo S&C: 17-36-NH gives providers critical information about how to prepare for these changes that are required under Phase 2 of the roll-out of the Reform of Requirements for Long-term Care Facilities (aka Mega-Rule) updating the Medicare/Medicaid conditions of participation. This information includes an advance copy of 696 pages of revisions to the F-tags and the Interpretive Guidance in Appendix PP, “Guidance to Surveyors of Long-term Care Facilities,” of the State Operations Manual. Providers should note that the Appendix PP revisions include new subregulatory guidance for multiple F-tags, not just the Phase 2 regulatory changes.

    Here’s a summary of critical news—and what’s still to come:

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  • Change Package: A Curated Collection of Great Ideas & Practices to Create Lasting Change - Revised (6/17)

    By National Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative - June 26, 2017
    The National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign has posted an updated version of the National Nursing Home Quality Care Collaborative’s Change Package: A Curated Collection of Great Ideas & Practices to Create Lasting Change in Your Nursing Home. 

    Version 2.2 includes change bundles to help nursing homes:

    • promote avoidance of antipsychotic medications in residents living with dementia,
    • promote resident mobility,
    • prevent healthcare-acquired infections,
    • prevent C. difficile infections, and
    • build capacity for QAPI success
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  • Prepare Your Facility for the Antibiotic Stewardship Program – Part 1

    By Emily Royalty-Bachelor, Staff Writer - June 15, 2017

    The Antibiotic Stewardship Program (ASP) is a new regulation that comes with Phase 2 of the Mega Rule and goes into effect on November 28, 2017. This new regulation will involve major changes to your process and several new duties for your staff. And it could also affect your F-tags –  if not implemented properly, you could be cited under multiple tags, and penalized accordingly. So if your facility leadership has not yet begun to prepare for the ASP, it’s high time to consider it.

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  • Requirement to Reduce Legionella Risk in Water System: CMS S&C Memo (6/17)

    By CMS - June 05, 2017
    Requirement to Reduce Legionella Risk in Healthcare Facility Water Systems to Prevent Cases and Outbreaks of Legionnaires’ Disease (LD): Facilities must develop and adhere to policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth in building water systems that reduce the risk of growth and spread of legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in water.
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  • 1 in 4 Nursing Home Residents Has Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria: Study (6/17)

    By HealthDay News - June 05, 2017
    More infection-prevention education and policies are needed, study findings suggest
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  • Clostridium difficile Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment (5/17)

    By AHRQ - May 30, 2017
    AHRQ Publications Summarize Evidence on the Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment of Clostridium difficile.
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  • Q&A: Are there courses available to become certified as an "Infection Preventionist"?

    By Amy Stewart, RN, DNS-MT, QCP-MT, RAC-MT - May 16, 2017
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  • Free CEUs available for online C. diff and Antimicrobial Stewardship Training (4/17)

    By National Nursing Home Quality Improvement Campaign - April 27, 2017
    Six free on-line nursing home training sessions on important concepts and practices that promote team communication, antibiotic stewardship, and C. difficile prevention are now available. 
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  • §483.30 Infection Control Tool

    By AADNS - December 08, 2016
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  • Infection Control Pilot: 2017 Update: CMS S&C Memo Includes Sample Worksheet (11/17)

    By CMS - December 04, 2016
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is in the second year of a three year pilot project to improve assessment of infection control and prevention regulations in Long Term Care (LTC) facilities, hospitals, and during transitions of care. 
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  • What’s Due November 28th: The Basics of Phase 1

    By Amy Stewart, RN, DNS-MT, RAC-MT, QCP-MT - November 10, 2016
    There are lots of changes on the horizon, with the three-phase implementation of the Final Rule (also known as the Mega-Rule) set to roll out over the next three years. A surprise to many is the recent news that CMS is not planning to update interpretive guidelines until 2017; CMS will update regulatory language for Phase 1 requirements under current F-Tags. Nonetheless, now is a good time to start looking closely at the new requirements in the Mega-Rule—especially those due with the implementation of Phase 1 on November 28, 2016. The good news is that Phase 1 implements requirements that, for the most part, already exist. Although relatively straightforward, these requirements still require changes that directors of nursing services (DNSs) need to be ready for. Here are the section-by-section changes that you don’t want to miss.
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  • Q&A: What is the best way to launch and implement mobile food carts with new regulations?

    By Teresa Remy, Director of Clinical Services - November 09, 2016
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  • Nursing Home Antimicrobial Stewardship Guide - AHRQ (10/16)

    By Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality - October 28, 2016
    The Nursing Home Antimicrobial Stewardship Guide is a field-tested, researched-based resource with four Web-based toolkits, that offer step-by-step instructions and turnkey materials to help nursing homes improve antibiotic use and decrease healthcare-associated infections. The guide offers step-by-step instructions and materials to help nursing homes improve antibiotic use and decrease harms caused by inappropriate prescribing. The guide, which is consistent with CDC core elements of antibiotic stewardship, can also help health care providers meet CMS’ new Infection Prevention and Control Program requirements.
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  • Infection Control and the Final Mega-Rule: What Directors of Nursing Services Must Be Doing Now

    By Amy Stewart, RN, DNS-MT, RAC-MT, QCP-MT - October 12, 2016
    Now that the heat of the unusually warm summer has started to break across the country, sniffles, colds, and seasonal infections lurk around the corner. It’s the perfect weather for curling up in a sweater and reading the 713-page Final Rule on the Reform of Requirements for Long-Term Care Facilities . (The 185-page Federal Register version of the Final Rule can be found here.) In case this not your plan for the weekend, you can much more quickly find out below what you need to know about infection control and the Mega-Rule, including what must be implemented by November 28, 2016, and what you can anticipate for the second two phases of the rollout.
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