Call for infection prevention improvements in care homes

Washing hands with a CliniWash mobile sink in a care home situation

Effective nursing programmes must be driven by administrative leaders says conference

Infection prevention should no longer be regarded as an “add-on service” – and effective nursing programmes and training resources should be a very high priority for care home establishments, according to a recent report on the McKnights Long-Term Care News website

The article, by Kimberly Marselas, revealed the conclusions presented at a national quality conference in the USA.

Half a day of sessions at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) virtual gathering was devoted entirely to nursing home improvements, where “much of the talk centered on convincing leaders of the infection preventionists’ value.”

Nimalie Stone, a medical epidemiologist for long-term care at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, revealed that administrative leaders are the key to driving long-term infection control, claiming that medical directors or even the clinical nursing leadership don’t always give the infection control considerations the priority that they need.

“The administrative leaders have to be at the table. They are a critical group in getting these strategies put into place.”

A Hygienius mobile handwash station for care homes
A Hygienius mobile handwash station being used in a care home

Why full support for the infection preventionist is essential

The value and importance of any appointed infection preventionist (IP) must not be lessened or undermined according to the article, which quoted a former chief medical officer of a major nursing home chain, geriatrician Michael Wasserman MD, who has repeatedly been a critic of aspects of the care home sector in the past.

“The IP must have the support of nursing home ownership in order to do that full-time job.”

Interestingly, Californian state regulations require every nursing home to have a full-time IP, which makes sound financial sense as well, according to Dr. Wasserman.

“A fully empowered IP helps reduce the spread of infectious diseases, which reduces call outs and sick time, in addition to reducing resident hospitalizations and readmissions.”

Owners must ‘be at the table’ for infection prevention to grow in nursing homes: quality experts »

Mobile hand washing units for care homes and home care »

The units can provide back-up support for existing hand washing facilities, can be used in rest areas for residents, or in reception hallways for visitors and staff. 

Images (above) show Teal’s new CliniWash (top) and the Hygienius ProWash mobile hand washing stations. Wheel it to anywhere it’s needed!

Hire handwash stations online »

They are easy to use and as they can be placed at point of need are ideal for residents, who may have restricted mobility, allowing them to have access to warm water in their own rooms.

How to choose the correct mobile sink »