News, Skilled Nursing Facility

CMS and CDC collaborating on free training course for infection preventionist

In a memo addressed to State Survey Agency Directors on March 16, CMS announced their collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to create an online training course in infection control and prevention for long-term care staff. This free course will be available in Spring 2019 and is intended to provide specialized training in infection prevention and control, along with a certificate of completion after the trainees have passed an online exam following the course. The training is expected to take 16 to 20 hours.

The revised Requirements of Participation effective November 28, 2016 outlined the specific components of an effective infection control program including a system for preventing, reporting, investigating, and controlling infections and communicable diseases for residents and staff. These requirements were phased in over a 3-year period. The broader infection control program was effective November 28, 2016. In November 28, 2017, facilities were required to develop an antibiotic stewardship program to combat the growing concern of multi-drug resistant organisms. Phase 3 which includes additional components such as specialized training, is effective November 28, 2019.

The memo included the following topics that are expected to be covered in the course:

  • Infection prevention and control program overview
  • Infection preventionist responsibilities
  • Quality assessment and assurance committee
  • Infection surveillance
  • Outbreaks
  • Hand hygiene
  • Principles of standard and transmission-based precautions
  • Medication and sharps safety
  • Respiratory etiquette
  • Device and wound management
  • Environmental cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization
  • Vaccine-preventable respiratory infections and tuberculosis
  • Employee and occupational health considerations
  • Linen management
  • Water management
  • Antibiotic stewardship program
  • Infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship considerations during care transitions