Infection Surveillance: How to Beef Up Your Program

By Caralyn Davis, Staff Writer - November 27, 2019

A key problem in many nursing homes is inadequate infection surveillance. The written standards, policies, and procedures for an infection prevention and control program (IPCP) must include “a system of surveillance designed to identify possible communicable diseases or infections before they can spread to other persons in the facility,” according to §483.80(a)(2)(i) of the Code of Federal Regulations.

"The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) wants providers to have a more formalized surveillance program, says Deb Patterson Burdsall, PhD, RN-BC, CIC, FAPIC. “You have to understand the epidemiological concepts of incidence and prevalence rates; how to calculate infection rates; and how to feed that information back in a feedback loop to the frontline providers—the people who can actually do something about what is going on with infection data.”

With the support of the director of nursing services, the infection preventionist can implement the key steps to develop an effective infection surveillance program. Read this article to find out those steps!