AHCA: COVID-19 Update #30 - How to Reduce the Risk of Spread

Lisa Volk and Jackie Pappalardi in Clinical & Quality

In This COVID-19 Update:

  • Every Interaction is a Risk   
  • CMS Reports Frequent Incorrect Use of PPE 
  • Compassionate Care Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis 

Every Interaction is a Risk

COVID-19 spreads principally person-to-person. Every interaction between people increases the risk of spread, particularly now that the virus is in most areas of the United States.  

The goal is to minimize the number of interactions with residents. Today’s guidance provides some ideas on how to achieve this goal. 

It includes:  

  1. reducing the number of various (non-essential) people entering the building;  
  2. targeting the number of interactions with residents by: 
    • reducing the number of different staff entering a resident’s room 
    • increasing efficiency of tasks when entering in a resident’s room to decrease the number of times staff enter 

It’s a simple formula for how spread happens – the more interactions that happen with a variety of people, the greater the chance of spread. So, continue to creatively reduce the number of interactions between people and stop the spread of this deadly virus. 

CMS Reports Frequent Incorrect Use of PPE   

We have heard from CMS that a common theme they are finding during COVID-19 infection control focused surveys are PPE not being used correctly, including donning and doffing procedures. Surveyors are having staff demonstrate handwashing and donning and doffing of PPE. 

We encourage you to review with your teams the appropriate way to apply and remove all PPE, including gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection. Performing observations yourself can be helpful to prepare staff for surveyor observation and to quickly correct any practices needing improvement.  

  • These documents can be printed and posted in your center to ensure your staff are aware of how to appropriately don PPE
  • These documents can be printed off and posted in your center to ensure your staff are aware of how to appropriately doff PPE.  
  • The following video explains how to do hand hygiene and donning/doffing PPE appropriately.  

Compassionate Care Amidst the COVID-19 Crisis 

Ensuring compassionate care in the midst of this pandemic, when human, equipment and financial resources are significantly strained, when we are balancing professional and personal struggles, can be a challenge. Advance care planning or end-of-life conversations can be difficult in the best of circumstances, let alone the current environment with restrictions, heightened emotions, and scarce resources.  

Read more about steps you can take to be prepared as well as tips on having these conversations.

Please email COVID19@ahca.org for additional questions, or visit ahcancal.org/coronavirus for more information.

NYSHFA/NYSCAL CONTACTS:

Lisa Volk, RN, B.P.S., LNHA
Director, Clinical & Quality Services
518-462-4800 x15

Jackie Pappalardi, RN, BSN
Executive Director
518-462-4800 x16