Home E-Weekly July 21, 2015

CMS to Scrutinize ASC Infection Control Efforts

Published: July 20, 2015

CMS is issuing its federal and state surveyors updated infection control compliance guidelines for ASCs, some of which may require thorough review and staff re-education.

The updates emphasize proper injection practices, including making sure that the rubber septum on medication vials, whether previously accessed or not, is disinfected with alcohol before it's pierced, and ensuring that IV solutions are used for one patient only.

With regard to hand hygiene, the guidelines say soap and sanitizer should be "readily accessible (and) in appropriate location(s)," and surveyors are being told to be on the lookout for direct-care staff wearing artificial nails or extenders.

Surveyors' worksheets include a separate column for notes, an "unable to observe" notation and an increased emphasis on written documentation, says Phenelle Segal, president of Infection Control Consulting Services.

The final guidelines haven't been published yet, says Ms. Segal, who reviewed an advance draft, but says she's been assured that any changes in the final draft will be minimal.

Jim Burger

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