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DOH Issues Guidance on Infection Control

The Department of Health (DOH) has issued Dear Administrator Letter (DAL) 19-09 reminding nursing homes of their infection prevention and control obligations as required by State (10 NYCRR Part 415.19) and federal (42 CFR 483.80) regulations. The letter also provides information on basic practices to improve overall infection prevention and control in nursing homes.

According to the DAL, infections among the nursing home population have been associated with high morbidity and mortality rates, rehospitalizations, lengthy hospital stays, and considerable health care-related expenses. In light of recent reports of health care-associated infections (HAIs) in nursing homes, including multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs), it is imperative that facilities have effective, robust infection prevention and control programs to mitigate the onset and spread of infections.

The DAL provides a link to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) training module, "Development of an Antibiotic Stewardship Program for Nursing Home Providers," and also contains a Nursing Home Infection Control Worksheet (ICWS), which is a self-assessment worksheet for nursing homes to improve infection control and prevention. The ICWS is attached to the DAL.

Contact: Elliott Frost, efrost@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8832