CMS requirement for nursing home infection preventionists explained

Patient safety should improve following the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) requirement for nursing home facilities to have an infection preventionist onsite, according to an industry leader. Linda Dickey, president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), said the responsibilities of an infection preventionist include gathering and reporting data on infections to the state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; observing direct care practices and offering feedback if needed; training staff; and following up with residents who are treated for infections.  In the event of an outbreak, they would be responsible for coordinating with public health investigations on determining how the outbreak occurred and managing performance improvement. One challenge to the requirement is the limited supply of infection preventionists; APIC is working to generate interest and awareness of the field (HealthLeaders Media article, 9/16/22)