5 Frequently Asked Questions About Infection Control in Assisted Living Facilities

Understanding how COVID-19 affects residents of Assisted Living facilities is an important process that is necessary to control the spread of the deadly virus. An infection control audit is a tool your facility can use to enhance your facility’s procedures to employees, residents and family members.

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, “Infection Control Assessment and Response (ICAR) tools are used to systematically assess a healthcare facility’s infection prevention and control (IPC) practices and guide quality improvement activities (e.g., by addressing identified gaps).”

Assisted living facilities have different needs than skilled nursing facilities. Their residents are mobile and socially active within the facility. Communal dining, exercise and social events encourage interactions and gatherings within the facility. Maintaining strict infection control and social distancing practices is challenging for facility managers to enforce and monitor. The purpose of this article is to answer vital questions about administering the infection control process.

What is the First Step in Infection Control?

There are 14 steps in an infection control audit, divided into three sections. The first step is to collect facility demographics and statistics before beginning the audit itself. The second section includes an inventory of personal protection equipment and other infection control tools. The third section requires an in-person or video tour of the facility showing screening areas, treatment areas and PPE storage areas.

How Often Do you Need to Conduct an Infection Control Audit?

According to the CDC, assisted living facilities must complete infection control and response (ICAR) audits at least every 12 months. Other experts suggest conducting these detailed reviews every three to six months during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How Do You Monitor Infection Control?

To stay in compliance with government regulations, assisted living facility staff need to implement strict recordkeeping procedures. These practices include keeping inventories of PPE equipment and supplies, monitoring visitors’ and employees’ activities, and reporting on vaccination and testing procedures. Using a computer-based solution or system to track this information will make it easier to complete the infection control audit when required.

What Is an Infection Control Risk Assessment?

Radius Executive IT Solutions works with Strategic Care Solutions to conduct an infection control audit of your community. Assisted living facility managers can conduct an infection control risk assessment to identify factors leading to future infections. The assessment is a self-monitoring tool completed by internal staff or a third-party provider. The process will help facility managers recognize which areas of their daily infection control practices need improvement to stay in regulatory compliance.

What Is an Infection Control Competency Checklist?

The CDC and state health departments recommend a set of procedures to ensure infection control compliance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. These lists recommend best practices within the facility, including PPE equipment, reduction of communal events and social distancing of residents, staff and visitors.

Infection Control Audit Support

Radius Executive IT Solutions provides expert IT services to assisted living facilities throughout southern New England. Our team of experts can help facility managers prepare and collate data required for infection control audits. Visit our website or call us at (978) 528-0110 today to learn more about keeping your facility safe.

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