HCSL Mobile app for Internal Audits

Mobile app now available for conducting your residential care ARRC specific internal audits.

There are a full range of internal audits pre-loaded ready for use. Collectively, these audits reflect the criteria Certification auditors will be checking.

 

This process gives you the opportunity to be sure you’re on track with achieving compliance. The findings auto-populate into corrective action tables which prompt timely addressing of these corrective actions. This system syncs with your main computer system and makes reporting to management and Governance boards very easy.

 

The Certification auditors (after given specific access authority with your permission) are also able to access the results of the internal audits you’ve completed.

To view a brief video on the use of this system, click here.

Dysphagia Diets – Are we all understanding each other?

Dysphagia diets and a lack of understanding of how to implement them consistently, is increasing risk to residents in aged residential care services.

Texture modified diets are commonly used in aged care facilities to manage the risk of aspiration pneumonia and choking with eating and drinking.  Residents with dysphagia may be placed on a texture modified diet following assessment with a speech and language therapist.  However there are often a range of terms used for texture modified diets, and differing opinions on exactly how the diets should be prepared.

 

Confusion with terms, and the types of foods and fluids offered leads to increased risk of harm for the resident.  This is particularly obvious when transferring from one facility to another.  Information on texture modified diets is passed to the new facility who may use different terms.  For example a site may report ‘this resident requires a soft diet’ and the interpretation of this diet at the new facility is to puree all food.

 

The International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) is a framework to standardise terminology and offer simple testing methods to check that the preparation of the diets are correct. Dietitians New Zealand and Speech Language Therapists of New Zealand have endorsed in principle the IDDSI framework.

The goal is to reduce the risk of harm for our patients and residents due to miscommunication and poorly prepared texture modified diets.  It is important to note that the framework relates to dysphagia diets only.  Residents may be on a modified diet due to other factors not related to dysphagia.  For example a resident with no teeth may need softer foods but can actually manage sandwiches.

The good news is that for many sites, there is very little change needed as they are already using the correct terms.  The diagram above shows the new terminology and the minimal change in wording;
  • ‘Smooth puree’ becomes pureed (which is also extremely thick fluids)
  • ‘Minced and moist’ remains unchanged
  • ‘Soft diet’ becomes ‘soft & bite sized’
  • Moderately thick and mildly thick remain unchanged for thickened fluids
The IDDSI framework assigns standard colours and numbers to assist with easily identifying texture modified foods and fluids.  Some manufactures of texture modified foods and fluids are looking at ways to incorporate the terms, colours and numbers onto their food packaging.

 

Food and Fluid Preparation and Testing

The IDDSI framework offers simple tests to check that the thickness of the fluids or the size of the particles for modified foods are correct.  The tests use forks, spoons, fingers or syringes – equipment that is readily available at sites.

With training and education on how to do these tests, kitchen staff and managers will be able to easily check their texture modified diets and thickened fluids are prepared correctly.

 

IDDSI App and Website

The IDDSI framework have developed many resources and videos to assist with the standardisation process.

Download the app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.appdataroom.iddsi&hl=en

or go to www.IDDSI.org

or ask your dietitian and speech language therapist for more information.

 

Where to From Here?

Here are some small steps to help implement the IDDSI framework at your site:

  1. Stop using any terms that are not on the framework. The term ‘mouli’ is not recognised and should not be used to describe a texture modified diet.
  2. Download the app or look at the IDDSI website to familiarise yourself with the framework.
  3. Try testing one of the textures you currently prepare. Does the ‘puree diet’ your site produce pass the spoon tilt test?  Does the size of the minced food for ‘minced & moist diets’ fit between the prongs of a fork?  Is the size of meat offered for residents on the ‘soft & bite size diet’ the size of your thumb nail?
  4. Ask your dietitian or SLT for further training on the correct testing and preparation of dysphagia diets.

This article was contributed by Liz Beaglehole NZRD (Canterbury Dietitians) and Anna Miles PhD, Speech-language Therapist, Senior Lecturer, Speech Science, School of Psychology. The University of Auckland.

Success Leaves Clues

Success leaves clues but often these aren’t being picked up so you miss the learning and miss the opportunity to recognise growth or gain continuous improvement in your audits.

In residential care, HealthCert (MoH) Certification processes appear solely to promote a goal of verifying compliance with requirements. Looking deeper however, the goal of meeting requirements ensures the protection and support of those in your care. This can then be evidenced in a way that’s reflective of service received as meaningful, safe and appropriate by individual residents.

It’s no longer an expectation that you’ll have a number of partial attainments as a result of an external audit. The expectation is full compliance and showing evidence of continuous improvement, going over and above the base ‘pass-mark’ brings you into line with your high performing peers. I’ve heard managers say “but it’s the Auditors job to find things wrong so we expect to get partial attainments.”  That is out-dated thinking and doesn’t fit the current audit and compliance environment or continuous improvement philosophy.

Systems can’t be implemented to show compliance, if staff are not looking at policies and procedures, or using them to guide services and care of residents. If individual staff or managers do what they think best, based on previous experience, without verifying whether that practice is still appropriate or best practice, they do themselves and residents a disservice.

Success leaves clues.  It’s apparent when quality systems are implemented, outcomes are checked in a measurable way, recorded, examined, analysed and greater gains identified for future implementation.  This is a cycle and if you have the right tools to record your continuous improvement projects on, you too will be in the elite who are out-performing those who continue to have multiple partial attainments (deficits) in audit.   Don’t be a provider that looks at others saying it’s ok for them; they have this or that or the other reason for their success but we don’t have those things so we can’t achieve.  Don’t make others extraordinary to let yourself off the hook.  You can have, and deserve to have, all the recognition for the amazing work you perform just like others who are achieving four years.

The lack of a robust up to date quality system, along with deficits in implementation, will lead you down an expensive compliance track. Expensive in loss of reputation as audits are published and accessed online by the public, expensive in loss of time trying to figure things out yourself, increased risk to residents, loss of financial resources as you end up being audited more often than would have otherwise been necessary. The better you achieve at audit, the longer your period of certification, the less often you are audited and therefore less often you’re paying auditors fees!

A common failing in the care facilities under Temporary Management has been from the lack of a proven quality system and application of that system into service provision. I’ve been contracted into a number of sites as a Temporary Manager over the years and this has consistently been the case.

If you would like a free Continuous Improvement Project template to help you identify and record your success, contact us and we’ll email it to you.

Go here to read testimonials from a few of our clients.

Clinical Assessment Recognises Subtle Changes

Our eyes see what is familiar and what they expect to see.  Are we good at picking up subtle changes through your assessment processes and acting on them appropriately?  The ability to see the less than obvious is essential when responsible for clinical assessment as you won’t act on those things you haven’t noticed.

On the 5th July I presented a full day seminar on a range of topics to Nurses working in aged care.  During the day I made what should have been an obvious change but I have no doubt it wasn’t noticed by all.  In the morning I wore a dress with a white jacket. In the afternoon I’d changed the dress for one of a different colour and pattern but retained the white jacket.  I made the change during the lunch break.

When I entered the room after the lunch break three people commented straight away.  I saw a small number of puzzled looks but those nurses didn’t say anything.  Others didn’t seem to notice and didn’t make comment.  We had three distinct groups.  Those that notice and comment, those that notice but don’t comment and those that don’t notice and therefore don’t comment!  Which are the nurses you’d feel safest with if it came to performing a clinical assessment on you on an ongoing basis day after day?  Which differences would they notice and which wouldn’t get a second glance. Which changes would be commented on?

We need a mix of ‘detail’ thinkers and ‘big picture’ thinkers to see everything that occurs.  Equally these two groups of people can complement each other.  Working separately they will each only see part of what needs managing.  Some over think and others don’t seem to think or reflect.  Awareness of how the members of your nursing team work and think could be important in supporting you to minimise risk resulting from subtle changes occurring which may not have been addressed.

It may be beneficial to review personality types to see how your team are working separately or collectively to ensure the best outcome for residents in their care. This increased recognition of each others natural thinking styles may also enhance the ability of the team to understand each other and consciously support others differences.  There are a raft of profiling tests however Myers Briggs has been around as a validated tool for a long time and may be a useful one for you and your team.

What subtle changes are occurring with your residents that you haven’t noticed?  Did you see the white dress in the morning change to a black one in the afternoon? If not, what else are you not seeing that could expose someone to risk?  Are any of your team seeing things but not saying anything because they don’t recognise it’s their responsibility or think someone else has commented?

Weight management goals in care planning

When care planning, the goals or objectives developed for each aspect of care need to be measurable.  This ensures you’re able to evaluate progress and determine whether the goal has been met or not.  The concern is making sure an appropriate goal is set.  While we look at this from a clinical perspective, we must always remember the resident as the central focus and director where they are able to provide input into what the care plan relays.  People have choice within their capacity and sometimes as nurses, we may not agree with a choice made by our patients / residents in aged care.

When guiding weight management goals from a clinical perspective, Liz Beaglehole, Registered Dietitian has offered the below guide.

Ideal weight range in the care process

Body mass index is still helpful in determining healthy weights for older adults.  A healthy BMI range for adults over 65 actually shifts upwards as compared to adults. So a healthy BMI for older adults has been found to be BMI – 22 – 27kg/m2. A BMI above 32kg/m2 would suggest obesity, a BMI below 20 suggests underweight, and below 18.5 is malnourished.

To work out the BMI: (weight/height²).  Example case:  height = 1.5m and weight = 45kg

  1. We need the height in metres and the weight in Kg.
  2. The height needs to be squared. So a height of 1.5m = 2.25 when squared.
  3. Then the BMI is the weight in Kg divided by the height²

Example:  weight = 45kg divided by 2.25 = BMI of 20kg/m².  This is regarded as the lower end of ideal body weight and suggests the resident is underweight for optimal health.

An ideal body weight for some who is 1.5m tall would be a BMI range of 22 – 27 so a weight range of min 50kg up to around 60kg.  Basically to work out ideal body weight just enter different weights into the BMI calculation until you get to the BMI of at least 22 and then again to a BMI of around 27.

The ideal body weight may differ to the GOAL weight.  The goal weight may be something that is set when the BMI is outside the ideal range but some weight changes are desirable.  The goal weight is more useful and practical as it considers the weight history of the resident and the ability to achieve changes in weight.  For example, a resident may be underweight with a weight of 42kg (BMI= 18.6) but they have been this weight for the past year.  Ideally they would gain weight to 50kg, but this is unrealistic.  The goal weight therefore becomes either weight stabilisation at 42kg or a slight weight gain to 44kg.  This would still mean the resident is underweight but is realistic in what can be achieved.  If the initial goal weight is achieved, a second goal weight may be identified.  This may be to stabilise weight at 44kg or to gain to 45kg.  etc…

This can work for overweight residents too.  Using the same example height of 1.5m.  Someone who weighs 78kg has a BMI of 34.6, and is obese.  However, realistic weight loss to within the ideal body weight range would suggest the resident would need to lose around 18 – 28kg, which is completely unrealistic and would never be suggested for aged care.  A more realistic GOAL weight would be weight stabilisation and then some weight loss.  5% weight loss can improve many health outcomes and this would be a realistic target.  Weight loss of 5% is still around 4kg, which is possible but still difficult.

Article contributed by: Liz Beaglehole (NZ Registered Dietitian), Canterbury Dietitians

Unwanted Weight Gain in Aged Care Facilities

While most of the referrals for dietitian input in aged care facilities relates to unwanted weight loss, dietitians can be asked for input with residents who have unwanted weight gain.

What is overweight?

For many adults we use the Body Mass Index as a basis for identifying a ‘healthy weight range’.  The BMI is a ration of the person’s height to their weight.  (kg/m²)  The BMI is not without its limitations, but generally it is a useful tool in assessing if someone is within the recommended weight range (BMI 20 – 25kg/m²), below it (underweight and malnourished) or above it (overweight and obese).  For older adults, the ‘healthy weight range’ tends to shift upwards.  There is evidence older adults with a BMI between 22 – 27 kg/m², have a longer life expectancy.  There is evidence that older adults who have unwanted weight loss will reduce their life expectancy.

What is the aim?

The first question to ask is whether this weight gain is a cause for health concern, and if there are benefits gained from weight loss.  In some cases weight gain may lead to reduced mobility, worsening blood sugar control, exacerbation of shortness of breath and gastric reflux, problems in fitting clothes, problems with ill-fitting hoists, chairs, and increased difficulty with transfers.  If it agreed that weight loss would be beneficial, the first nutritional goal is to prevent further weight gain.  Aim to stabilise the current weight.  Weight loss may be the next goal once weight stabilisation is achieved.

How much weight to lose?

Stabilising the current weight is a good start.  If weight loss is desired, set a realistic weight goal with the resident.  Health benefits are noticeable with as little as 5% weight loss.  A 85kg woman losing around 4kg should notice some benefits.

The goal of weight loss it to be losing body fat, not body muscle.  If weight loss is too rapid, the risk is that significant muscle mass is lost.  This can lead to worse health outcomes.

Involving the resident who has unwanted weight gain

A discussion with the resident about whether they are noticing any effects from the weight gain, and whether they would like to try and prevent gaining more weight, is essential.  It may be useful to explain the expected health benefits possible with weight loss. Family may also like to be consulted, but the decision and the motivation really needs to come from the resident.

Just telling a resident they need to lose weight, or automatically changing their diet is not treating a resident with respect, nor providing care that is tailored to their needs.  You may feel that the ‘best’ option would be to lose weight. The resident may feel different. They have the right to choose what’s right for them.

What strategies may help unwanted weight gain?

Losing weight is hard.  There needs to be a reduction in the energy intake with an increase in energy output.  Changes to food and changes to levels of activity are needed for optimal results.  Activity and body movement are important in helping to maintain muscle mass.  The diet still needs to remain nutritionally adequate, especially in terms of protein to minimise the loss of body protein too.  Continue to offer quality protein foods, at main meals and tea meals.

An aged care facility menu is nutritionally balanced and tailored to ensure the nutritional needs of the residents are met.  Talk with the resident about what ideas they might be happy to try to help reduce their food intake.  Small changes eventually add up to significant calorie reduction.  Start with changing one or two things only in the diet.  If that is successful, add in other small changes.

Reducing Food Intake

  • Target between meal snacks such as morning tea, and/or afternoon tea. If the resident is not hungry at these times, he or she may be able to skip the food offered
  • Limit sweet drinks; offer water, ‘diet’ options and a sugar replacement in hot drinks
  • Reduce the frequency of desserts in the week, or offer lower calorie options such as fresh fruit, diet jelly, low fat yoghurt. Limit the use of cream on desserts.
  • Ensure the size of the main meal is a medium meal (not large), serve extra vegetables if the resident is wanting more food.
  • Look at the quantity of food eaten at meals. Reducing the amount slightly can help.
  • Target the amount eaten at ‘happy hours’ and other treat times
  • Try to encourage the resident to limit the amount of extra foods they may be buying and having in their room
  • Ask family and friends not to bring in food items. Suggest other options such as magazines, books, photo albums, flowers

Increasing activity levels

  • Encourage the resident to join in the home’s activities
  • Encourage the resident to walk more if possible, around the home, to the dining room, around the garden – short distances at first so they gain a sense of achievement
  • Family and friends may be able to help by joining the resident in walks or taking them on outings too

These are some ideas to try.  For more information and tailored nutritional advice contact your clinical dietitian.  If the resident is ready to make some changes, offer support and encouragement, to help enable their success.  Be positive.  As with all of us, sometimes we deviate from our own ‘diet’; we have a treat or a dessert or a second helping.  Don’t judge residents, or be so strict with restricting foods.  Avoid using phrases that suggest the resident is ‘being good’ or ‘being naughty’ in terms of whether they are following the agreed diet plan.  There are no ‘good’ foods and ‘bad’ foods.  And finally, weight loss takes time.  Simply stalling the weight increase is a significant achievement.  Long term encouragement and support is essential for successful and sustained weight loss.

Article contributed by: Liz Beaglehole (NZ Registered Dietitian), Canterbury Dietitians

liz@canterburydietitians.co.nz

Is the company email the employers property?

In simple terms, a work or company email is an employer’s property in the same way a direct dial phone number, phone (mobile and/or land line) and any other piece of equipment or resource is.  Therefore, as a matter of principle, the employer is entitled to have access to that email address as necessary in order to conduct its business activities.  Correspondingly, employees are obliged to co-operate with any request for access.

Where issues can arise is when an employee is allowed to use their work email for personal emails.  This can either be set out in policy or implicit.  In this case, care needs to be taken to ensure that personal emails are not read.  The access should be limited to ensuring the employer can access business related emails.

If an employee is objecting to providing access to their work email, you can address this by confirming that as a matter or principle the work email address is the employer’s property and you require access to all work emails.  Reinforce with the employee, you will not be reviewing personal emails and they can either forward those emails to their personal email address, delete them etc (as noted below).  However, you will require their password and access as needed.

If an employee continues to resist, inform them you will be making arrangements with your IT service provider to gain access to the work email and given their lack of co-operation, suspending their personal use until further notice.  If this step is required, it’s advisable to contact your employment law adviser first in order to ensure clear and succinct written communications are provided in respect of this step.

To avoid issues in the future, if there is no policy in place, or if there is a policy in place which does not address it, in the first instance all employees should be told that:

(a)       Any work assigned email address is for work purposes;

(b)       That where necessary you will require employees to provide access in order for you to ensure that email communications are dealt with as needed and to provide for business continuity;

(c)       Personal emails received at the work email address can be forwarded to a personal email address, deleted, flagged or moved into a separate folder so they remain private; and

(d)       A policy will be introduced to clarify email and internet access shortly, or recirculate the current policy (updated if/as needed).

Noting point (d), if there is no policy in place, it would also be timely to introduce an email and internet policy specifying how the internet and email facilities can and will be used.  Alternatively, if there is a policy, but it does not cover this situation, the policy should be updated.

Above article kindly contributed by: Dean Kilpatrick (Special Counsel – Employment), Anthony Harper Law,  For more information contact –  Email

Using physiotherapy assistants in residential care

 

Employing a physiotherapy assistant (PTA) is a fantastic and cost effective way to implement physiotherapy programmes. Many residential care facilities contract in physiotherapy services at an hourly rate, often for only a few hours per week. Supporting this service by having an employee who can accompany the physio on their visit, and then put the exercise programmes in place supports real outcomes for residents.  When I quote for services to residential care facilities I always put a persuasive argument in place for them to appoint a PTA at the same time.

Of concern is that we sometimes visit facilities who have a physiotherapy assistant employed but no contracted physiotherapy hours. Why is this a problem and what are the consequences? The problem lies with the fact that “Physiotherapist” is a legally protected title and to practice in New Zealand you must be registered and hold a practising certificate. If there is any perception that the person is a physiotherapist or is carrying out ‘physiotherapy’ then this is illegal and the fine can be up to $10 000. The key word here is perception. Below are some examples that I have come across where I believe the work was illegal.

– A GP requested a physio assessment of a resident with a sore shoulder. This assessment was carried out by an overseas qualified   physio working as a PTA in a facility;

– A PTA doing exercises with a resident and the family said “she is having her physiotherapy session so we will wait”;

– Staff referring to their physiotherapy assistant as the “physiotherapist” in conversations.

Physiotherapy New Zealand has written guidelines for using a physiotherapy assistant (this covers the term rehab assistant also). The guidelines state that a client must have:

– An assessment by a NZ registered Physiotherapist and a treatment plan;

– Ongoing monitoring of the physiotherapy status and needs of the client.

The physiotherapy assistant must have strict boundaries which include being deemed competent by a supervising physiotherapist, not advancing or changing the treatment plan without written and verbal instruction from the physiotherapist, not offering any advice or opinion (other than reiterating the physiotherapist’s advice). They must have a clear written job description and adequate support. The work they carry out is the responsibility of the supervising physiotherapist which means only the physiotherapist can prescribe treatments which they have observed the physiotherapy assistant. Competency must be confirmed in respect of each individual treatment plan. This even includes simple exercises such as a walking programme.

We also recommend to our facilities that they consider getting a uniform that clearly designates the person as a ‘physiotherapy assistant’ and a name badge with this written. This helps greatly with the problem of other peoples ‘perception’ as already mentioned. We also recommend and provide separate documentation forms for PTAs.

Being a physiotherapy assistant is usually a very rewarding job but can be isolating for staff as they are usually the only one in their facility and often also have hours as a carer. It is good practice to support them with ongoing training and regular supervision with a physiotherapist that is not just focussed on their clinical role.

On the Go Physio offer regular training for physiotherapy assistants including a full day conference later in 2017. To find out more about the pending conference go here and request details.

This article kindly contributed by Jessie Snowdon – Physiotherapist,  founder and director of On the Go Physio. She graduated from Otago University in 1998 and has worked in Christchurch, Edinburgh and London in a variety of roles

Influenza season

Prepared for winter coughs and colds?

Winter is fast approaching and now is the time to be preparing your facility for the season’s usual crop of influenza, coughs and colds.

Last year the elderly were hit hard with, not just influenza, but also other respiratory viral infections. Many were admitted to hospital with complications such as pneumonia.

The predominant circulating influenza strain in 2016 was Influenza A, H3N2, different from the previous year’s Influenza A, H1N1. Although covered by the vaccine, last year’s predominant strain changed slightly from what was covered in the vaccine and there were numerous reports of laboratory confirmed cases of young vaccinated adults who still acquired influenza. Despite this, vaccination still affords some protection and symptoms are less severe than without it. This is the same for the elderly whose uptake of the influenza vaccine is not so good – experts agree that there are still benefits from the elderly having an annual influenza vaccine.

Some of the other respiratory viruses last year that caused severe disease in our elderly included coronavirus, rhinovirus and parainfluenza.

 

Check list for winter virus planning

  • Encourage and offer seasonal influenza vaccination to both staff and residents
  • Ensure hand sanitiser is available for visitors at the entrance of the home
  • Consider displaying a poster discouraging visitors with symptoms – a poster is available from CDHB communications
  • Remind staff and residents about good cough etiquette / respiratory hygiene
  • Have a good stock of tissues and hand sanitiser for residents
  • Remind staff to stay off work if sick – no-one wants their germs!
  • Educate staff about S&S of influenza – not all residents will display fever or cough
  • Keep residents in their rooms if symptomatic and introduce droplet precautions, i.e. droplet masks for staff providing cares
  • If you suspect an outbreak then confirm the outbreak[1] and introduce control measures[2]

Ensure all infections are logged into you infection register (for HCSL QA online uses – this is part of your infection log process) – remember your outbreak notification requirements as per your policies and procedures.  If you would like more assistance with this please contact us.

 

This article kindly contributed by: Ruth Barratt RN, BSc, MAdvPrac (Hons) – Independent Infection Prevention & Control Advisor (Canterbury)

Infectprevent@gmail.com

[1]  Infection Prevention & Control Guidelines for the management of a respiratory outbreak in ARC / LTCF

[2] A Practical Guide to assist in the Prevention and Management of Influenza Outbreaks in Residential Care Facilities in Australia

Infection Prevention and Control – 2017 review

Antimicrobial stewardship for aged residential care  

The below article was contributed by Ruth Barrett – RN, BSc, MAdvPrac (Hons); Independent Infection Prevention & Control Advisor

 

What is your New Year resolution for 2017 in the world of infection prevention and control (IPC)? If you haven’t thought of it I would suggest looking at antimicrobial stewardship in your facility.

I was fortunate to attend a recent international IPC conference in Melbourne (ACIPC Conference 2016) and was pleased that aged residential care was a popular theme for both oral presentations and posters. One of the topical subjects was feedback from the first survey of antimicrobial use in residential care facilities in Australia. The results of this research are freely available and make interesting reading[1][2]. A good deal of the findings could equally apply to ARC in New Zealand.

Antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship are two topics that go hand in hand.

As rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria continue to rise in New Zealand, then the responsibility for and management of the use of antibiotics becomes more important. Aged residential care (ARC) facilities are an important reservoir for MDRO transmission within the community. In the ARC setting, there are frequent transfers between the acute hospital setting and back to the rest home. This along with an over-use of antibiotics in the community can lead to a higher prevalence of multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO) in ARC.

Even if a resident does not usually receive antibiotics, the resident is still at risk of picking up an MDRO if a lot of antibiotics are used. Managers, nurses and carers who work in a residential care facility all have apart to play in reducing the amount of antibiotics used and minimising the increase and spread of MDRO.

 

Some of the ways you can do this include-

  • Ensuring hand hygiene compliance is high for all staff and providing hand sanitiser close at hand for carers.
  • Using other specific contact precautions to control the spread of MDRO in your facility according to local policy.
  • Not using topical antimicrobial creams unless prescribed e.g. don’t routinely use Mupiricin (Bactroban) on wounds.
  • Only sending wound swabs, urines etc if there are obvious signs and symptoms of infection.
  • Recognising influenza or other respiratory outbreaks earlier to avoid secondary chest infections in the elderly, which would require antibiotics. Remember that in the winter season, many respiratory infections are caused by viruses and do not need antibiotic treatment.
  • Ensuring the residents finish their course of antibiotics.
  • Monitoring infections using a surveillance programme.
  • Monitoring the incidence of MDRO in the facility.
  • Accessing specialist IPC advice if infection or MDRO rates are of a concern.

 

So why don’t you make antimicorbial stwardship your IPC focus for 2017?

 

Contributed by:

Ruth Barratt RN, BSc, MAdvPrac (Hons)

Independent Infection Prevention & Control Advisor

Infectprevent@gmail.com

 

[1] Antibiotic use in residential aged care facilities, Australian Family Physician, Volume 44, No.4, April 2015

[2] Antimicrobial Stewardship in Residential Aged Care Facilities. Result of survey.

 

Page 1 of 3123