MedBridge has worked with Shelley Bhola RN-BC, BSN, MSN, PHN, Infection Prevention Specialist, to put together resources for facilities and providers to use for education and preparation during the coronavirus outbreak:
- Community Preparedness Guidelines for COVID-19 – Article [currently viewing]
- Checklist for Inpatient Communities During the COVID-19 Outbreak – Article & Downloadable Flyer
- COVID-19 Facility Policy – Downloadable Flyer
- A Healthcare Provider’s Guide to Staying Healthy Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic – Article
- Free Patient Education Videos: How to Protect Yourself Against the Coronavirus, and 5 Handwashing Steps You Should Follow
In January 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease in Hubei Province, China. The new respiratory disease—coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19—is spreading globally, as well as across the United States.
The general strategies the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities are the same strategies these facilities use every day to detect and prevent the spread of other respiratory viruses like influenza.
That being said, many of the steps that we need to take right now are things that we would be doing for an influenza outbreak. Very simply, we need to begin with the basics.
1. Educate your staff about the steps you are taking to protect their health, as well as the health of the residents. Educate them on what is known about the virus, as well as how it is transmitted.
2. Promote regular and thorough handwashing by employees, residents, families, and vendors. Make it easy for them by:
- Putting sanitizing hand rub dispensers in prominent places around the workplace. Make sure these dispensers are regularly refilled.
- Display posters promoting hand washing.
- Make sure soap and water are accessible for all so they can wash their hands with soap and water if that is preferred.
- Sharing this short handwashing educational video
3. Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace:
- Display posters promoting respiratory hygiene.
- Ensure tissues are easily accessible and that there are closed bins for sanitary disposal.
4. Post signs at the entrance of the facility encouraging visitors to not visit when they have respiratory symptoms.
5. Provide the right supplies to ensure easy and correct use of personal protective equipment (PPE):
- Post signs on the door or wall outside resident rooms that clearly describe the type of precautions needed and required PPE.
- Make PPE—including facemasks, eye protection, gowns, and gloves—available immediately outside the resident room.
- Position a covered trash bin near the exit inside any resident room to make it easy for staff to discard PPE.
6. Review sick leave policies to allow staff to stay home when they are symptomatic:
- Have a contingency plan in place that looks at critical tasks that need to occur in the event you are required to work with less-than-optimal staffing.
This virus is new to everyone. We are all learning and evolving—much like the virus itself. The goal is always to keep residents and staff safe as well as promote a healthy work environment. The best way to do that is to stay calm, educated, and up to date on the latest information.
The best way to keep yourself educated and up to date is to not listen to the news, but rather to access your local department of health website or the CDC website:
Ensure your team is following evidence-based infection control best practices with our targeted training on infection control and hand hygiene:
- Hand Hygiene: The Key to Infection Control (2020)
- Infection Prevention
- Infection Control: The Basics (2020)
- OSHA: Tuberculosis and Airborne Infection Precautions (2020)
- OSHA: Personal Protective Equipment (2020)
- Cleaning & Disinfection of Medical Devices & Equipment (2020)
To ensure and track staff completion of this training, create an infection control Knowledge Track and assign it to your staff through the Learning Management System. Need more information about the ways MedBridge can help your organization respond to developing events quickly with targeted education for healthcare professionals and patients? Request a demo today.