Education, Training, and Competencies
Concurrent Education Session - 60 minutes
Steven Schweon, RN, MPH, MSN, CIC, FSHEA, FAPIC
APIC Consulting: Consultant/Advisory Board; Crothall Healthcare/TouchPoint: Consultant/Advisory Board; Qualidigm: Consultant/Advisory Board
The need for nursing home care continues to increase in the U.S. as the aging population requires skilled nursing care. As a result, LTC’s are becoming an integral part of the evolving healthcare continuum for both short- and long-term resident placement. Residents do not live in the facility; Healthcare personnel (HCP) work in the resident’s “home.”
The LTC population is at risk for pathogen acquisition and infection due to numerous factors. Many of the residents are frail with multiple comorbidities such as diabetes and respiratory disease that can predispose them to infection. Close to 90% of the residents are aged 65 and older, with senescence negatively impacting the immune system functionality. Cognitive impairments, decreased skin integrity, bowel and bladder incontinence, and nutritional alterations can also increase susceptibility to infection.
Additional infection risk factors include indwelling catheters and devices such as urinary catheters and feeding tubes, functional impairment, and frequent care transitions. Infections in this population can result in morbidity, re-hospitalization, and considerably increased healthcare expenditures. Low hand hygiene adherence, antimicrobial overuse, emerging MDROs, inadequate environmental hygiene, under-utilization of vaccination by both HCP and residents, insufficient process and outcome surveillance programs, and staffing challenges will all test the IPC program’s effectiveness.
This session will discuss recommended actions for preventing infection, best practices to promote resident and staff safety, and workflow processes to ensure regulatory compliance for the IPC in the LTC setting.