As CMS focuses surveys on infection control in SNFs, it’s important for SNFs to make sure they have all of their bases covered. Proper infection control measures are imperative to keeping residents and staff safe as COVID-19 spreads. The following is a sample of the CMS infection control self-assessment tool. The entire tool can be viewed on the CMS website.
COVID-19 has disrupted SNFs throughout the U.S., and without proper infection control in SNFs, it will continue to do so. The following is an excerpt from the book, Infection Control: How to Implement an Effective Approach for Long-Term Care by Brian Garavaglia, PhD, available for purchase on the marketplace.
I never thought I would see this question in my lifetime, particularly in 2020, the Year of the Nurse. Several nurses have begun asking, “What is the skilled service if the resident isn’t receiving rehab services?” Every time I hear that question, I cringe. Have we been wrapped up in the “720 minute” world for so long that we’ve forgotten what skilled nursing care really is? Unfortunately, I think the answer is yes. Even during a pandemic, we have nurses who can’t recognize the value of what they are doing.
SNF surveys have pivoted over the past few months to focus on infection control amid COVID-19 outbreaks. “CMS did refocus their efforts in the midst of the pandemic to make sure that they can provide support to the community that we serve, as well as facilities by making sure that facilities were compliant with infection control practices,” explains Stefanie Corbett, DHA, in the Post-Acute Advisor podcast “Infection Control Surveys and Reopening SNFs,” available on SoundCloud. However, resident care is something that all SNFs should focus on every single day and be prepared for when regular surveys resume.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) has become an integral part of day-to-day life at SNFs. While PPE usage is standard in infection control areas of healthcare, it’s not something commonly used at SNFs. To aid SNF staff in properly wearing masks, CMS has compiled steps healthcare workers should follow to effectively don and doff masks.
COVID-19 has plagued SNFs for the past few months, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths across facilities in the U.S. Because of the ongoing pandemic, visitors are banned from facilities with the exception of end-of-life visits, but it’s important that each resident is granted thorough care despite the limitations facilities are currently facing. The following is an excerpt of the book Essential In-Services for Long-Term Care: Education for Frontline Staff, 2020 Edition, by Kelly Smith Papa, MSN, RN, available for purchase on the marketplace.
The novel coronavirus, also known by the more technical name of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is ravaging our nursing home industry and our society as a whole. Not too long ago, people were in close contact with one another with little more to worry about than the next influenza season. Now, over the last few months, our world has been turned upside down.
Nursing homes are now required to report the first week of COVID-19 data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) beginning May 8 but no later than May 17. For the first time, all 15,000 nursing homes will be reporting this data directly to the CDC through its reporting tool. This reporting requirement is the first action of its kind in the agency’s history. On April 19, CMS announced the agency would be requiring facilities to report COVID-19 information to the CDC and to families. Within three weeks of that announcement, on April 30, CMS issued an Interim Final Rule with Comment Period with the new regulatory requirements. As nursing homes report this data to the CDC, we will be taking swift action and publicly posting this information so all Americans have access to accurate and timely information on COVID-19 in nursing homes.
The staff at SNFs are currently on the front lines doing the vital work of battling COVID-19. Staff, residents, and family members have many fears about COVID-19, but there are many steps that SNFs can take to reduce these anxieties.