CMS call notes with COVID updates from industry leaders

Wednesday’s call hosted by CMS’ Alina Czekai included a panel of Industry Leaders who shared some of their critical approaches and best practices for managing COVID-19. In addition, Alina shared the importance of the new survey process focusing on Patient Safety and Infection Control. Surveyors will be using this survey tool to review infection prevention and control practices and recommend all operators utilize the guidelines to self-monitor.

Key takeaways towards successful navigation through COVID-19

Dr. Noah Marko, CMO at Los Angeles Jewish Homes - servicing over 4,000 lives

Dr Marko shared their acronym for EMPOWER, addressing COVID-19

  • Empowered Infection Control (handwashing ‘secret shoppers’)

  • Medication Reduction

  • Prepping for Isolation (plastic sheeting for staged don/doff PPE area within patient rooms, Proactive ordering of PPE….)

  • Only essential visitors as deemed necessary in the Plan of Care – including therapy and hospice

  • Washing hands flyers posted and a video was released with the Medical Dir washing hands to nurses singing happy birthday

  • Employee assessment & HR review of Policies, staffing patterns, back up staff availability and payment plans for them…

  • Repurposed staff as needed

Carol Maher ran through some best practices (consultant based in WA and consulting in CA as well as for AAPACN)

  • Consider in advance:

- Where to place positive patients

- How many beds will be available?

- Assess equipment needs and place order NOW – even if on backorder

  • Establish a communication plan in case of a positive or potential positive case – include: Dept of health, EMS, Hospital – prior to transport

  • Plan for X-ray and Lab – at Kirkland WA – over 90% of lab techs were affected.

  • Eliminate onsite group education and travel – establish weekly calls

  • Coordinate team weekly calls surrounding COVID P&P including: Consultants, DON, Staff development team, Infection Preventionists…

  • Cross train nurses on nasal and oral pharyngeal swabbing

  • Implement an environmental cleaning log for all high touch areas and isolation rooms

  • Maintain log for all remote workers of all locations they have been to (like therapists)

  • Temp logs maintained for each employee each shift – including those that travel between buildings and are in/out

Let's Get to the Point:

Thank you to all of the front line staff and leaders who are hero’s for pulling together to provide exceptional care for our vulnerable population – and sharing!