For many skilled nursing facilities navigating their way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the CMS Focused Survey has been a source of stress and anxiety for both owners and staff. But that dread isn’t necessary. Like most things, preparation is the key to success, and to help you get your facility up to a level of compliance, Century Rehabilitation has developed a robust training program that covers every aspect of the Focused Survey.
Our training team knows what CMS is looking for, what areas trip companies up the most, and how to prepare a facility to pass with ease. Our training program is comprehensive. And, because there are some areas of care that are more crucial than others and of greater importance to the medical surveyors who will rate the compliance of your facility, we pay extra attention to areas where common deficiencies are often noted in the Focused Survey, including:
- F880 Infection Prevention and Control
- F881 Antibiotic Stewardship Program
- F882 Infection Preventionist Qualifications/Role
- F883 Influenza and Pneumococcal Immunizations
Here is what CMS says regarding the Survey and their expectations for skilled nursing facilities across the country:
We are disseminating the Infection Control survey developed by CMS and CDC so facilities can educate themselves on the latest practices and expectations. We expect facilities to use this new process, in conjunction with the latest guidance from CDC, to perform a voluntary self-assessment of their ability to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. This document may be requested by surveyors if an onsite investigation takes place. We also encourage nursing homes to voluntarily share the results of this assessment with their state or local health department Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI) Program. Contact information for each state’s health departments is identified on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC’s) website at https://www.cdc.gov/HAI/state-based/index.html.
Furthermore, we remind facilities that they are required to have a system of surveillance designed to identify possible communicable diseases or infections before they can spread to other persons in the facility, and when and to whom possible incidents of communicable disease or infections should be reported (42 CFR 483.80(a)(2)(i) and (ii)). CDC recommends that nursing homes notify their health department about residents with a severe respiratory infection, or a cluster of respiratory illness (e.g., > or = 3 residents or HCP with new-onset respiratory symptoms within 72 hours). Local and state reporting guidelines or requirements may vary. Monitor the CDC website for information and resources to help prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes (CDC Preparing for COVID-19: Long-term Care Facilities, Nursing Homes: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- Page 7 of 9 ncov/healthcare-facilities/prevent-spread-in-long-term-care-facilities.html). We urge providers to review the tools and implement actions to protect the health and safety of individuals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not surprisingly, infection control is a major concern of the Focused Survey. That’s one of the reasons the CDC recently mandated that all skilled nursing facilities must have an LVN or RN Infection Preventionist on staff at least part-time. It’s also why Century has developed staffing and training programs to help skilled nursing facilities train and find IPs for their facilities. If you have someone on your staff designated for IPC training, our trainers can get them up to speed and certified quickly. If you don’t have anyone on staff to train for the position, our medical staffing consultants can find a qualified IPC specialist for you quickly and affordably.
Make no mistake, having a certified Infection Preventionist on your staff will raise your focus and preparedness for infection issues exponentially. IPs are trained to look for potential infection problems and even more, are focused on finding them before they become problematic.
When your nurses complete Century’s IPC training program, they will be knowledgeable, skilled, and ready to handle any of the following areas of infection prevention and control:
- Development and review of a complete facility Infection Control Program
- Infection Preventionist Onboarding and Mentoring
- COVID-19 Assistance
- Nursing Documentation Review
- Proper Use of Personal Protective Equipment and Guidance
- Preparation for the Focused Infection Control Survey
- All Staff Training & Education
- Infection Surveillance / Risk Assessment
- Principals of Standard Precautions
- Principals of transmission-based Precautions
- Hand Hygiene
- Injection Safety
- Respiratory Hygiene and Cough Etiquette
- Indwelling Urinary Catheters
- Central Venous Catheters/Lines
- Infection Prevention During Wound Care
- Point of Care Blood Testing
- Reprocessing Reusable Resident Care Equipment
- Environmental Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Water Management Program
- Linen Management
- Preventing Respiratory Infection
- Tuberculosis Prevention
- Occupational Health for the Infection Control and Prevention Program
- Antibiotic Stewardship in Nursing Homes
- Infection Prevention and Antibiotic Stewardship Considerations During Care Transitions
- Infection Control Program Incorporated in Quality Assurance Performance Improvement (QAPI)
- Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases
Don’t let passing the Focused Survey give you one more minute of concern. Century Rehabilitation is here and prepared to help you provide extraordinary care for your patients and give your staff the knowledge and training they need to succeed.
If you need assistance finding, or training staff to make your facility IPC compliant, contact our specialists at Century Rehabilitation and let us help you.