Topic 4 DQ 2
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), and the Joint Commission (JC) require that health care organizations maintain risk management programs to address infection control. Detail three measures that your health care organization (or any health care organization) could implement, beyond what is currently in practice, to support the delivery of safe health care services and avoid the spread of infection (e.g., placing hand washing devices at all of the public entrances of the health care facility). Support your response with a minimum of two peer-reviewed references.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has highlighted the need for infection control far beyond the boundaries of health care organizations. OSHA, CMS and the JC have all published evolving updates throughout this astounding nearly 2 years. Risk Management programs have been revised to accommodate these regulatory emergency requirements for all health care organizations. In coordination with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and local public health departments, regulatory agencies have published guidance updates throughout the pandemic. “CMS regulations and guidance support hospitals and CAHs taking appropriate action to address potential and confirmed COVID-19 cases to mitigate transmission and prepare for community spread transmission, including screening, discharge and transfers from the hospital, mitigation of staffing crises, and visitation.” (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2020) Some changes that should be implemented in health care facilities to decrease the spread of disease during this pandemic are as follows:
1. Excluding positive staff from coming to work until testing or quarantine protocols are met. Although this has led to staffing shortages, this has been a necessitated practice to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19. Some organizations have implemented shortened quarantine time frames for staff. “At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery, defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and, At least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared.” (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2020) Utilizing non-test based strategies may not be efficient in the infection control of this ever-evolving virus. Implementing a test-based strategy requiring two negative tests prior to allowing staff to return to work would reflect a greater prevention of transmission. “A robust and responsive testing infrastructure is essential to our success in stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.” (CDC, 2020)
2. Initiating proactive outreach to the patient roster to conduct proactive Telemedicine assessments and prescribe medications will greatly reduce the likelihood of transmission as this will keep many patients out of the office while still providing continuous care. “Consider reaching out to patients who may be at a higher risk of COVID-19-related complications such as the elderly, those with medical co-morbidities, and potentially other persons who are at higher risk for complications from respiratory diseases, such as pregnant women to ensure adherence to current medications and therapeutic regimens, confirm they have sufficient medication refills, and provide instructions to notify their provider by phone if they become ill.” (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2020)
3. Informing patients when scheduling their appointment that no additional individuals may accompany them into the exam room will reduce the potential for disease spread. “Healthcare facilities should set limitations on visitation. For example, limitations may include restricting the number of visitors per patient, or limiting visitors to only those that provide assistance to the patient, or limiting visitors under a certain age.” (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2020)
Using transmission mitigation strategies will likely last for years while this pandemic runs its course and eventually subsides. It is difficult to predict when these measures should be relaxed.
Using 200-300 words APA format with at least two references. Sources must be published within the last 5 years. There should be a mix between research and your reflections. Add critical thinking in the posts along with research. Apply the material in a substantial way.