Long Term Care: The Next Frontier in Infection Prevention
By Medline Newsroom Staff | April 18, 2019
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have announced a new initiative that seeks to help prevent the spread of infection at long-term healthcare settings. Recognizing that patients often move back and forth between hospitals and post-acute care facilities, the CDC has put $8 million towards helping those long term facilities make the necessary improvements to lower infections and cross contamination stemming from patients moving between settings. While the CDC has determined that hospital-associated infection have decreased in recent years, hospitals only comprise one part of the larger health system.
“This is a serious issue that extends way beyond hospitals,” says Rosie D. Lyles, MD, director of clinical affairs at Medline. “One study of long term care facilities found 1600 outbreaks in 12 states over a four year period. This clinical initiative by CDC reinforces the need to implement decolonization methods, such as daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing of the skin and nasal application with povidone-iodine (PVP), as part of infection control strategies to reduce the spread of multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs).”
The CDC’s move also highlights the need for standardization when it comes to infection prevention. Different healthcare facilities, whether long-term acute care facilities (LTACHs), nursing homes (NHs), or skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), often do not have the same standards or strategies for infection control implemented in their facilities. Studies have shown that patient transfers from these long term care settings to hospitals present a major risk for the spread of infection.
Medline actively participated in the CDC’s initiative by providing antiseptic products to help keep patients from getting antibiotic-resistant bacteria and to stop those with bacteria from developing an infection. Results have been promising so far. After 18 months, researchers found a 25% drop in drug-resistant organisms among nursing home residents. Medline’s partnership with the CDC’s Prevention Epicenter investigators is a good example of how, by working with frontline staff, experts can bolster strategies and promote health in our increasingly interconnected health landscape.
Learn more about how Medline helps hospitals and long term care facilities prevent infections.