Infection Control – Focused Surveys

Angie SzumlinskiCompliance, Health

As we continue to struggle with the effects of COVID-19 in our centers, the loss of life, devastating illness, and the negative effects of isolation, CMS is continuing to perform focused infection control surveys. Yes, that piece of our life has also changed as well, these surveys will be performed remotely with limited “on-site” time. Some states are allowing 100% remote visits, surveyors never stepping into the center, however, to be clear, “remote” surveys have resulted in IJ citations so buckle up!

To assist you in preparing for a focused visit, consider having the following items available:

  • Access to your electronic medical records (surveyor access only)
  • Census numbers by unit
  • Alphabetical list of residents with room numbers
  • Updated floor plan (Identify COVID designated units if applicable)
  • Name of responsible person for infection control and prevention
  • List of employees/contract staff with phone numbers and titles
  • Work schedules for specified times/dates for nursing and nurse aides
  • Direct number for a contact person (facility or cell phone)
  • List of family members who frequently visited residents/remote contact
  • New admissions for the past 30 days
  • Process for notifying families/sponsors
  • Resident list of who has PPE precautions in place including the type of precautions
  • Copy of policies and procedures including:
    • Infection control
    • Surveillance plan
    • Emergency preparedness
    • Emergency staffing strategies
    • Transfer/discharge
    • Change in condition

Remember, regulatory processes may have changed but they are still alive and well. The best opportunity you have to avoid citations is to be prepared, follow the CDC guidelines to the letter, adjust on a dime as needed and do what a prudent person in a similar situation would do! Stay safe, be well, and stay tuned!